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Full text of "Annals of the South African Museum. Annale van die Suid-Afrikaanse Museum"

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HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
.;% 
Library of the 
Museum of 
Comparative Zoology 



15 3a 

VOLUME 100 PART 1 



FEBRUARY 1991 



MCZ 

LIBRARY 
1 991 

HARVARD 
UNIVERSITY 



ISSN 0303-2515 



ANNALS 



OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN 

MUSEUM 





CAPE TOWN 



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Bullough, W. S. 1960. Practical invertebrate anatomy. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan. 

Fischer, P. H. 1948. Donn/es sur la resistance et de la vitalite des mollusques. Journal de conchyliologie 88 (3): 100-140. 

Fischer, P. H., Duval, M. & Raffy, A. 1933. Etudes sur les echanges respiratoires des littorines. Archives de zoologie 

experimental et generate 74 (33): 627-634. 
Kohn, A. J. 1960a. Ecological notes on Conus (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in the Trincomalee region of Ceylon. Annals and 

Magazine of Natural History (13) 2 (17): 309-320. 
Kohn, A. J. 19606. Spawning behaviour, egg masses and larval development in Conus from the Indian Ocean. Bulletin of 

the Bingham Oceanographic Collection, Yale University 17 (4): 1-51. 
Thiele, J. 1910. Mollusca. B. Polyplacophora, Gastropoda marina, Bivalvia. In: Schultze, L. Zoologische und anthro- 

pologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Sud-Afrika ausgefuhrt in den Jahren 

1903-1905 4 (15). Denkschriften der medizinisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena 16: 269-270. 

(continued inside back cover) 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 
ANNALE VAN DIE SUID-AFRIKAANSE MUSEUM 



Volume 100 Band 
February 1991 Februarie 
Part 1 Deel 




LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA 

(MOLLUSCA, BIVALVIA) FROM THE ALGOA 

BASIN, WITH A REVISED CLASSIFICATION 

OF THE ORDER 



By 



MICHAEL R. COOPER 



Cape Town 



Kaapstad 



The ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

are issued in parts at irregular intervals as material 
becomes available 

Obtainable from the South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town 8000 



Die ANNALE VAN DIE SUID-AFRIKAANSE MUSEUM 

word uitgegee in dele op ongereelde tye na gelang van die 
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Verkrygbaar van die Suid-Afrikaanse Museum, Posbus 61, Kaapstad 8000 



OUT OF PRINT/UIT DRUK 

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6(1. t.-p.i.), 7(1-4), 8, 9(1-2, 7), 10(1-3), 11(1-2, 5, 7, t.-p.i.), 

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36(2), 43(1), 45(1), 67(5), 84(2) 



Copyright enquiries to the South African Museum 
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ISBN 86813 118 



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In Suid-Afrika gedruk deur 
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D43 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA (MOLLUSCA, BIVALVIA) 

FROM THE ALGOA BASIN, 

WITH A REVISED CLASSIFICATION OF THE ORDER 

By 

Michael R. Cooper 
Department of Geology, University of Durban-Westville, Natal 

(With 25 figures) 
[MS accepted 8 October 1989] 



ABSTRACT 

The diversity of trigonioid bivalves makes their assignment to a single family inappropriate. 
On phyletic grounds it is proposed to recognize the suborders Trigoniina and Myophorellina 
nov. to include the superfamilies Myophoriacea Bronn, Trigoniacea Lamarck, Myophorellacea 
Kobayashi, and Megatrigoniacea van Hoepen. In addition, the following new taxa are 
introduced: family Gruenewaldiidae, subfamily Steinmanellinae, tribe Heterotrigoniini, and 
genera Skwarkoella and Lambertiella. 

The late Valanginian trigonias of the Sundays River Formation, last reviewed as a group in 
1908, are revised and shown to comprise 11 species in seven genera (Trigonia, Myophorella, 
Steinmanella, Iotrigonia, Megatrigonia, Pisotrigonia and Pterotrigonia) . These taxa represent six 
subfamilies in four families. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction 1 

Geology 2 

Systematic palaeontology 3 

Superfamily Myophoriacea 4 

Superfamily Trigoniacea 4 

Superfamily Myophorellacea 9 

Superfamily Megatrigoniacea 24 

Acknowledgements 48 

References 48 



INTRODUCTION 

The trigonioid bivalves comprise a generally highly ornate group of infaunal 
burrowers that dominated Mesozoic shallow-marine environments. They display 
a bewildering and unsurpassed diversity of morphology that, because of a strong 
substrate control, involves rampant homoeomorphy and parallel evolution. 
Relationships have been further obscured by a general failure to appreciate that 
in each region evolution occurred in isolation for long periods of time, 
punctuated by periodic regional interchange (at times of high sea-level) and 

1 

Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 100 (1), 1991: 1-52, 25 figs. 



2 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

faunal replenishment. As a result, although there are general similarities 
between the trigonioid faunas of different regions, species are almost invariably 
endemic and are descended from and most closely related to species from the 
same region. Consequently, a conservative taxonomy (cf. Cox 1969) and 
attempts to apply a few well-established names to taxa from different regions 
has served merely to obscure and confuse the phylogeny of the group, and to 
mask one of the great radiations in the animal world. 

Trigonioid bivalves are particularly well represented in the Sundays River 
Formation of the Uitenhage Group (Goldfuss 1837; Krauss 1843; Sharpe 1856; 
Holub & Neumayr 1881; Kitchin 1908; Pringle 1960; Cooper 1979a). This fauna 
was last revised as a group in 1908, when only the genus Trigonia was recog- 
nized, and it is now in need of modern revision. This is all the more desirable 
given the major changes in trigonioid classification and nomenclature over the 
past 20 years. 

The South African Museum holds large collections of trigonias from this 
formation. These include the material described by Kitchin (1908), the early 
Geological Survey collections, and subsequent collections made by the late E. 
C. N. van Hoepen and the writer. There are also small collections in the Port 
Elizabeth Museum, the Albany Museum, and the University of Zimbabwe, 
which the writer has studied. 

The repositories of material cited herein are as follows: 
AM = Albany Museum, Grahamstown 
PEM = Port Elizabeth Museum, Port Elizabeth 
SAM = South African Museum, Cape Town. 

GEOLOGY 

The Cretaceous deposits of the Algoa Basin are assigned to the Uitenhage 
Group. At the base are fanglomerates and coarse fluviatile elastics of the Enon 
Formation. These grade vertically and laterally into finer elastics of the Kirk- 
wood Formation, deposited by high-sinuosity streams in a marginally marine 
environment. A marine tongue of the Infanta Shale, known as the Colchester 
Member, is intercalated within the Kirkwood Formation and reflects earliest 
Cretaceous transgression. The occurrence of the Berriasian belemnite Belem- 
nopsis gladiator Willey, in the Algoa Basin (Willey 1973; Cooper 1981) may 
serve to date this intercalation. The Sundays River Formation rests with toplap 
relationship and basin-margin disconformity on the Kirkwood. It is a strongly 
transgressive marine unit of richly fossiliferous mudstones, siltstones and fine- 
grained sandstones deposited in an intertidal to littoral situation (Shone 1976). 
The ammonite fauna, dominated by Olcostephanus , with occasional Distoloce- 
ras, Neohoploceras, Partschiceras , Eodesmoceras , Bochianites and Umgazani- 
ceras (Cooper 1981, 1983), indicates a latest Valanginian age for surface 
exposures, though Hauterivian microfossils are reported from the subsurface 
(McLachlan & McMillan 1979). 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 3 

SYSTEMATIC PALAEONTOLOGY 

Order trigonioida Dall, 1889 

Discussion 

If taxonomy is to reflect phylogeny, it is clear that the current subdivision of 
the Trigoniidae into as many as 19 subfamilies is inappropriate. It implies that 
this evolutionary radiation is devoid of phyletic lines and that no two subfamilies 
are more closely related to each other than to any other subfamily. This is 
spurious. On phylogenetic grounds these subfamilies are here distributed 
among two suborders and four superfamilies (Fig. 1). 



re 

8 co .2 



« 5 a> o 



U) 



Q- o a co 

1 f 2 I 




Fig. 1. Hypothesized relationships among the proposed superfamilies of Trigonioida. Charac- 
ter states: 1 = prominent marginal carina,* myophorian hinge, radial ornament to area 
subordinate to transverse ornament; 2 = hinge trigonian, radial ornament to area predominant; 
3 = marginal carina relatively fine, nodate, area with transverse ornament, flank costae 
predominantly nodate, mostly oblique or V-shaped; 4 = escutcheon carina generally obsolete 
and marginal carina commonly restricted to umbonal region, shell often pyriform or posteriorly 
rostrate, also somewhat produced and often inflated anteriorly. 



Suborder trigoniina Dall, 1889 

Discussion 

Since strict application of the phylogenetic principles of Hennig (1966) leads 
to almost as many supraspecific taxa as there are species, the writer prefers a 
more utilitarian approach in which paraphyly is preferred to a burgeoning and 
unwieldy higher taxonomy. Consequently, the suborder Trigoniina is here held 
to comprise the superfamilies Myophoriacea and Trigoniacea. 



4 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Superfamily myophoriacea Bronn, 1849 
(nom. transl. herein ex family Myophoriidae Bronn, 1849) 

Diagnosis 

Generally small to medium-sized trigonioids with prosogyrous beaks, rarely 
orthogyrous or opisthogyrous. Dentition myophorian or schizodian, with smooth 
or weakly ribbed teeth. Main tooth of left valve opithsocline, simple or bilobed; 
two main teeth of right valve asymmetrical, posterior one generally longer and 
narrower. Additional teeth may be present in left valve, on one or both sides of 
main tooth, whereas additional relatively weak teeth may also be present 
anteriorly in right valve. Myophorous buttress generally weak or absent; pallial 
line distinct, mostly entire. Area not usually discriminated ornamentally from 
flank. Age: Upper Silurian-Triassic. 

Discussion 

Although Myophoriacea are absent from the present fauna, they are dis- 
cussed because of their relevance to the revised classification presented here. 
The superfamily comprises the following taxa: Schizodidae (Schizodinae and 
Eoschizodinae), Scaphellinidae, Myophoriidae, Pachycardiidae (Pachycardiinae 
and Eoastartinae), and Minetrigoniidae (including Costatoriidae). 

Superfamily trigoniacea Lamarck, 1819 

Diagnosis 

Umbones orthogyrous to opisthogyrous, rarely prosogyrous; escutcheon 
usually present; bipartite area and flank differently ornamented in most genera; 
respiratory margin obliquely truncate or subtruncate; left valve with broad 
median tooth, strongly concave to deeply emarginate below in most genera; 
posterior left tooth marginal, weak or obscure; anterior left tooth moderately 
strong; right valve with two subequal, more-or-less symmetrically divergent 
teeth not borne on hinge plate; anterior marginal tooth very obscure in some 
species; main teeth with strong transverse ridges except in a few primitive forms; 
anterior myophorous buttress generally well developed. 

Discussion 

At present this superfamily comprises the families Gruenewaldiidae fam. 
nov., Trigoniidae (Pleurotrigoniinae and Trigoniinae), Neotrigoniidae (nom. 
transl. herein ex subfamily Neotrigoniinae Kobayashi) (Nototrigoniinae and 
Neotrigoniinae) and Prosogyrotrigoniidae (Praegoniinae and Prosogyrotrigonii- 
nae) (Fig. 2). 

The most primitive trigoniaceans are assigned to the family Gruenewaldii- 
dae nov., in which the hinge is myophorian, with only partially striated teeth, 
and the areal ornament is predominantly transverse (Newell & Boyd 1975). At 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 




Fig. 2. Hypothesized relationships within the superfamily Trigoniacea. Character states: 
1 = shell trigonal with prominent marginal carina and escutcheon, flank costae concentric, 
radial ornament to area subordinate to transverse ornament, hinge myophorian; 2 = hinge tri- 
gonian, area with radial ornament, at least in nepionic stages; 3 = shell ovate, marginal carina 
obsolete, beaks prosogyrous; 4 = area with concentric ornament; 5 = antecarinal sulcus very 
broad, shallow; 6 = area very broad, flanks wholly or partly with radial costae; 7 = marginal 
carina and ornament to area restricted to nepionic stages, flank costae terminate at antero- 
lateral shoulder in prominent tubercles. 



present only Gruenewaldia and Lyriomyophoria are assigned here and both are 
very small. 

The trigonian hinge (Newell & Boyd 1975) first appeared in the mid-Triassic, 
derived from the gruenewaldiid condition. Almost immediately there was a 
fundamental dichotomy into the Trigoniidae and Prosogyrotrigoniidae. Whereas 
the latter taxon preserves the primitive condition of prosogyrous beaks, a pre- 
dominantly transversely ornamented area (in all but Praegonia), and a weak 
hinge with the main tooth of the left valve ungrooved, the loss of the prominent 
marginal carina and the generally trigonally ovate to suborbicular shape, with 
rounded respiratory margin, are derived characters. The Trigoniidae, on the 
other hand, preserve the pronounced marginal carina of Gruenewaldia while 
accentuating the radial costation of the area. Their conspicuously striated main 
teeth and orthogyrous to opisthogyrous beaks are derived characters. 

The Neotrigoniidae evolved from the Trigoniidae in the late Jurassic 
(Nakano 1970) by broadening and shallowing of the antecarinal sulcus. The 



6 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

primitive subfamily Nototrigoniinae Skwarko, 1963 (including the Austrotrigo 
niinae Skwarko, 1968), is widely distributed in the Australasian Realm and is 
descended from Opisthotrigonia. The link between the Nototrigoniinae and 
Neotrigoniinae is provided by the late Cretaceous Mesotrigonia (Freneix 1958; 
Fleming 1964). Even should Mesotrigonia prove to be based upon juvenile Paci- 
trigonia (Nakano 1961), its ornament is sufficiently similar to that of Eotrigonia 
to support a phyletic relationship. Additional evidence is the predominantly 
Australasian distribution of both the Nototrigoniinae and the Neotrigoniinae. 
Darragh (1986) has recently suggested derivation of Eotrigonia from Neocomian 
species such as Trigonia vertistriata Skwarko and T. marumbiana Skwarko, via 
the late Cretaceous T. miriana Skwarko. The writer is unaware of any Senonian 
Trigonia s.s. and the long time gap between the last appearance of Trigonia 
(?Cenomanian) and the first appearance of Eotrigonia (Palaeocene) makes such 
a phylogeny untenable. Trigonia miriana differs substantially from all other Tri- 
gonia species in its small, inflated, quadrate shell with subterminal umbones, its 
steeply inclined, shallowly excavate escutcheon with faint radial costellae, its 
broad area that is wider than the flank, and in having pustulose flank costae that 
terminate posteriorly in a low node at the smooth antecarinal sulcus (Skwarko 
1963). These differences warrant generic separation and T. miriana Skwarko is 
here designated type species of Skwarkoella gen. nov. It is believed to be a 
member of the Nototrigoniinae. 

Contrary to Newell & Boyd (1975), the writer believes that radially orna- 
mented Permo-Triassic forms such as Costatoria, Procostatoria and Minetrigonia 
are unrelated to N eotrigonia, and that the similarities are due to convergence. 
This is supported by the long time gap between the last appearance of Minetri- 
goniidae and the first appearance of Neotrigoniinae. 

Family Trigoniidae Lamarck, 1819 

Diagnosis 

Trigonal to rhomboidal, very inequilateral trigoniaceans; dentition trigo- 
nian, with conspicuously striated main teeth; escutcheon prominent; broad area 
with obliquely truncate respiratory margin; posterodorsal margin straight; flank 
ornament nontuberculate, subconcentric; carinae prominent, generally persist- 
ing to maturity, with prominent antecarinal sulcus; area typically with radial 
ornament, but in some may become smooth in maturity. 

Discussion 

As restricted here, the family Trigoniidae comprises only the nominate sub- 
family and the Pleurotrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929, in which the very narrow 
escutcheon is unornamented, the marginal carina becomes obsolete in maturity, 
the radial costellae to the area are restricted to the nepionic stages, and the flank 
costae bear a tubercle at the anterolateral shoulder. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 7 

Subfamily Trigoniinae Lamarck, 1819 

Diagnosis 

Small to moderately large trigoniids; umbones well developed; carinae and 
radial costellae to area persisting to maturity; marginal carina corded; antecari- 
nal groove variable, often restricted to left valve. 

Genus Trigonia Brugiere, 1789 
Type species. Venus sulcata Hermann, 1781; ICZN Opinion 327 (1955). 

Diagnosis 

Escutcheon with radial ornament; flank costae terminating at the antecari- 
nal sulcus or marginal carina. 

Discussion 

Neuquenitrigonia Leanza & Garate (1987) has transverse costellae to the 
escutcheon, whereas Guineana Skwarko, 1967, has flank costae that continue on 
to the area to produce cancellate ornament. The Upper Triassic Heslingtonia, 
which is here elevated to generic status, differs from Trigonia in the effacement 
of costae from the posterior part of the flank, and in the fine radial sculpture of 
the area and narrow escutcheon (Fleming 1987). Given the vast number of Tri- 
gonia s.s. species now known, if taxonomy is to reflect phylogeny, current 
perceptions of the genus are too broad and this taxon requires further phylo- 
genetic subdivision. 

Trigonia tatei Neumayr, 1882 
Fig. 3 

Trigonia cassiope d'Orbigny. Tate, 1867: 158. Lycett, 1877: 172. 

Trigonia tatei Neumayr {in Holub & Neumayr), 1881: 275, pi. 2 (fig. 3). Kitchin, 1908: 125. 
Lambert, 1944: 371. 

non Trigonia (Trigonia) aff. tatei Neumayr. Rennie, 1947: 58, pi. 2 (figs 11-13) (= Trigo- 
nia sp.). 

Type 

By lectotype designation herein, the original of the specimen figured by 
Neumayr {in Holub & Neumayr 1881, pi. 2 (fig. 3)). 

Material 

A total of 22 specimens were examined: SAM-4646, D1876 (2 specimens), 
D1881-82, D1893 (9 specimens), D1896, D1932 and D1973 (2 specimens), as 
well as 4 unnumbered specimens also in the South African Museum collections. 

Description 

Shell medium sized (maximum length about 70 mm), trigonally ovate, 
elongate (H/L = 0,71-0,73), with moderately elevated umbones situated about 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 








Fig. 3. Trigonia tatei (Sharpe). A-C. Dorsal (x 1 and x 2) and lateral views of an unnum- 
bered right valve in the South African Museum. Note the absence of an antecarinal sulcus. 
D-E. SAM-D1876, a right valve. D. Lateral view showing obliquity and crowding of flank 
costae anteriorly. E. Dorsal view of umbonal region, x 2. Note the beaded radial costellae to 
the escutcheon which curve to meet the dorsal commissure. F. Lateral view of an unnumbered 
left valve in the South African Museum, x 1. Note the distinct antecarinal sulcus. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 9 

one-quarter of the shell length from the anterior and weakly inturned, opistho- 
gyrous beaks. The valves are moderately weakly inflated (W/H = 0,28-0,33), 
with an almost straight posterodorsal margin at right angles to the broadly 
convex anterior margin. The ventral margin is broadly convex and the moder- 
ately short respiratory margin obliquely truncate. 

The escutcheon is lanceolate, slightly more than half the shell length, and is 
ornamented with radial rows of fine tubercles that, on DI876, curve inward to 
meet the commissure. The trigonal area is relatively narrow and almost flat. It is 
ornamented by finely beaded radial costellae, one of which corresponds to the 
escutcheon carina. There is no median groove to the area. The marginal carina 
is marked by a prominent rib that thickens posteriorly and is crossed by growth 
lirae that give it a scaly corded appearance. 

The flanks are ornamented with up to 28 pronounced, subconcentric costae 
that are slightly narrower than the interspaces on the posterior half of the shell. 
In maturity, the ribs flex slightly upwards anteriorly, becoming slightly oblique, 
crowded and broader than the interspaces. Posteriorly the ribs terminate against 
the marginal carina of the right valve, but there is a narrow antecarinal sulcus to 
the left. 

Discussion 

Rennie (1947) compared material from the Lower Aptian of southern 
Mozambique with this species, but it differs in being slightly more elongate, with 
a more convex anterior margin, and in having maximum downward convexity of 
the flank costae more anterior than in Uitenhage material. It probably rep- 
resents a new species. 

Occurrence 

Trigonia tatei Neumayr is known with certainty only from the Upper 
Valanginian of south-east Africa, where it is an uncommon element of the 
faunas. 



Suborder myophorellina nov. 



Discussion 



This monophyletic suborder is here held to comprise the superfamilies Myo- 
phorellacea and Megatrigoniacea. 

Superfamily myophorellacea Kobayashi, 1954 
(nom. transl. herein ex subfamily Myophorellinae Kobayashi, 1954) 

Diagnosis 

Small to very large trigonioids, suborbicular to ovate, trigonal and subquad- 
rate; strongly inequilateral; posteriorly produced, with subterminal umbones; 
marginal and inner carinae prominently nodate, generally persisting to maturity; 



10 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



area broad, typically with transverse ornament and longitudinal groove often 
marked by row of nodes; respiratory margin generally broadly truncate; escut- 
cheon smooth, nodate, or with transverse ornament; flank ribs primitively 
subconcentric and entire but mostly strongly oblique and nodate, in derived 
forms may form chevrons. 

Discussion 

This superfamily comprises the families Frenguelliellidae (Frenguelliellinae 
and Laevitrigoniinae) with subconcentric, more or less entire, flank costation, 
Myophorellidae (Myophorellinae and Steinmanellinae subfam. nov.) with 
obliquely nodate flank costation, and the derived Vaugoniidae (Vaugoniinae 
and Quadratotrigoniinae) with nodate, V-shaped flank costae. The Frenguelliel- 
linae (Fig. 4) preserve the primitive condition of subconcentric flank costae and 



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1 
o 

a 
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> 
2 



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o> 

3 

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Fig. 4. Hypothesized relationships within the Myophorellacea. Character states: 1 = flank 
costae subconcentric, beaded inner and marginal carinae which persist to maturity, escutcheon 
smooth, area with fine transverse ornament; 2 = antecarinal sulcus virtually obsolete, nodose 
flank costae oblique, escutcheon sometimes with transverse costellae, longitudinal furrow to 
area often delimited by row of nodes; 3 = flank costae form chevrons near umbo; 4 = large, 
massive, carinae breaking up into rows of nodes or becoming obsolete in maturity, area often 
with transverse growth rugae in maturity; 5 = large, massive, carinae replaced by prominent 
nodes, longitudinal furrow delimited by prominent nodes, escutcheon with radial rows of 
nodes, area with transverse growth rugae in maturity, comprises Quadratotrigonia homoeo- 
morphs; 6 = shell ovate, very broad antecarinal sulcus shallow and unornamented, weak 
irregular flank costae commonly pustulose or with oblique rows of pustules. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 11 

prominent antecarinal sulcus, linking it to ancestral trigoniaceans, but have the 
myophorelline synapomorphies of nodate marginal and escutcheon carinae, 
smooth escutcheon and transversely ornamented area, whereas the ribs in some, 
e.g. Jaworskiella, show a tendency to become nodate. The Laevitrigoniinae 
Saveliev, 1958, are frenguellielline descendants in which the subconcentric flank 
costation is irregularly nodate and the antecarinal sulcus is very wide and 
shallow. The Myophorellinae are frenguelliellid descendants in which the flank 
costae are oblique in maturity and ornamented with conspicuous nodes. 
Jaworskiella is an intermediate stage. The Steinmanellinae subfam. nov. are 
myophorelline descendants that evolved in parallel with the Quadratotrigonii- 
nae. The latter are derived from Vaugoniinae that evolved from Myophorellinae 
by the development of V-shaped flank costae in the early and middle growth 
stages. 

Family Myophorellidae Kobayashi, 1954 
(nom. transl. herein ex subfamily Myophorellinae Kobayashi, 1954) 

Diagnosis 

Myophorellaceans with generally conspicuously nodate flank costae that are 
subconcentric near the umbo, commonly becoming strongly oblique in maturity. 

Subfamily Myophorellinae Kobayashi, 1954 

Diagnosis 

Small to moderately large myophorellids; trigonally ovate to suborbicular; 
escutcheon smooth or transversely ornamented; area with fine transverse costel- 
lae; costae oblique over much of flank, often discontinuous anteroventrally or 
joined by intercalatories. 

Discussion 

Morphologically the most primitive myophorelline is Ibotrigonia Kobayashi 
(in Kobayashi & Tamura, 1957), which preserves subconcentric flank costae that 
are broken up unevenly into tubercles, and with an irregularly serrated marginal 
carina. Although it has been included (Poulton 1979) in the synonymy of Myo- 
phorella, Cox (1969) and Hirsch (1980) are followed in regarding it a valid 
taxon. 

Pseudomyophorella Nakano, 1961, stands in the same relationship to Myo- 
phorella as Paranditrigonia does to Anditrigonia and Arabitrigonia to Scabro- 
trigonia. It is here considered a valid genus within the Myophorellinae 
characterized by radial costellae to the area. Scaphotrigonia Dietrich. 1933, is a 
widely recognized genus within the Myophorellinae, characterized by its nearly- 
straight flank costae, enlarged nodes to the anterolateral shoulder, and short 
subhorizontal costae to the flat anterior face. 



12 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Genus Myophorella Bayle, 1878 

Type species. Trigonia nodulosa Bayle (= T. nodulosa Lamarck, 1801); by 
the subsequent designation of Crickmay (1932). 

Diagnosis 

Escutcheon smooth; area relatively broad, with or without nodes demar- 
cating the longitudinal furrow; marginal carina persisting to maturity; flank 
costae evenly curved, nodes predominating, without greatly enlarged nodes or 
intercalatories anteriorly. 

Discussion 

Within Myophorella it is possible to recognize several subgenera: 
M. (Myophorella) — escutcheon smooth; flank costae distinctly curved, essen- 
tially uninterrupted, with prominent nodes. 

M. (Promyophorella) — like Myophorella, but with ribbing dominant and fine 
tuberculatum. 

M. (Scaphogonia) — like Promyophorella, but with a vertical row of enlarged 
nodes on the anterolateral shoulder and anterior ribs that are separated by a gap 
from the flank ribs; apparently endemic to North America. 
M. (Clavotrigonia) — like Myophorella but relatively large, subtrigonal; anterior 
face almost straight, with subangular, anteroventral margin; flank costae distant, 
weakly curved, not crowded dorsally, meeting the marginal carina almost at 
right angles, or with a very short, strongly upcurved taper; a predominantly 
Tethyan subgenus. 

Although Scaphogonia was treated as a strict synonym of Myophorella by 
Cox (1969) and Poulton (1979), the latter worker observed that its diagnostic 
characters serve '. . .to distinguish these (North American) species from nearly 
all otherwise similar Middle and Late Jurassic European Myophorella species' 
(p. 27). On this basis Scaphogonia is retained as a valid subgenus of Myopho- 
rella, apparently endemic to North America. Similarly, there are a host of 
European Myophorella species that are closer to the type of Clavotrigonia (of 
which Clavitrigonia Leanza, 1942, is a junior objective synonym) than they are 
to the type of Myophorella s.s. The subgenus M. (Clavotrigonia) is here applied 
to this predominantly Tethyan group. 

Although Haidaia Crickmay, 1930, has been rejected (Cox 1952, 1969; 
Poulton 1979) as a junior objective synonym of Myophorella, it was regarded as 
subgenerically distinct by Leanza (1981) and Leanza & Garate (1987). The type 
species, M. dawsoni (Whiteaves) was redescribed by Poulton (1979: 33, pi. 1 
(figs 12-21), pi. 2 (figs 1-4)) and the writer concurs that its features are essen- 
tially those of Myophorella s.s. 

The taxonomic position of the mid-Jurassic Awadia Hirsch, 1980, is cur- 
rently uncertain. It is assumed to be a myophorellacean that, in its broad, radial, 
nontuberculate flank costae and smooth area, is convergent toward the Pterotri- 
goniinae. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 13 

There are, however, still many species of Myophorella that do not fit com- 
fortably into any of the above taxa (cf. Leanza & Garate 1987) and the species 
to be described below is one of these. Until a major phylogenetic study of the 
Myophorellinae is undertaken, the writer hesitates to apply a new subgeneric 
name to the present species. 

Myophorella first appeared in the Lias and attained a cosmopolitan distri- 
bution in the later Jurassic, becoming extinct in the Hauterivian. 

Myophorella oosthuizeni Cooper, 1979 

Fig. 5 
Myophorella (Myophorella) oosthuizeni Cooper, 1979a: 22, fig. 1. 

Types 

The holotype, SAM-PCU5941 (RO-300), together with four paratypes, all 
of which are in the South African Museum, Cape Town, as well as SAM-D1875 
(2 specimens). 

Description 

Shell small (maximum length about 60 mm), trigonally ovate, longer than 
high (H/L = 0,79), moderately inflated (W/H = 0,42), and somewhat produced 
posteriorly. Umbones subterminal, elevated, with moderately inturned, opistho- 
gyrous beaks. Posterodorsal margin shallowly concave, anterior and ventral 
margins broadly rounded forming a semi-circle, respiratory margin obliquely 
truncate. 

The sunken escutcheon is large, lanceolate, smooth, and extends almost the 
entire posterodorsal length of the shell. The marginal and escutcheon carinae 
are marked by rows of large, regular, obliquely clavate tubercles that increase in 
size posteriorly; those of the escutcheon carina are elongated anteromedially 
and those of the marginal carina posteromedially. Each tubercle of the marginal 
carina corresponds with a flank costa. The area is trigonal, rather narrow and 
ornamented with uniform, fine, transverse costellae that show no sign of 
strengthening posteriorly. There is a well-developed longitudinal groove that is 
situated close to the escutcheon carina. 

The flank ornament of the nepionic stages comprises subconcentric ribs that 
pass with an inflexion across the marginal carina on to the area. The remaining 
flank costae are strongly oblique, posteriorly meeting the marginal carina at an 
angle of c. 30°. Except for the posterior few ribs, most flank costae curve 
strongly forwards to meet the anterior and anteroventral commissures almost at 
right angles. All flank costae bear rather sharp, pointed tubercles and nodes 
that, on the anterior part of the valve, are concentrically elongated. There is a 
gap in some of the ribs terminating along the anteroventral margin, with some 
irregularity of tuberculation, in Scaphotrigonia fashion. The entire flank surface 
is ornamented with conspicuous growth lirae that are continuous with the costel- 
lae of the area. 



14 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 







Fig. 5. Myophorella oosthuizeni Cooper, x 1. A-C. Lateral, dorsal and anterior views of the 

holotype, SAM-PCU5941. D. Left valve of a paratype in the South African Museum. E. Left 

valve of a paratype in the South African Museum. 



Occurrence 

Myophorella oosthuizeni Cooper is known only from the Upper Valangi- 
nian of south-east Africa, where it is a very rare element of the faunas. 



Subfamily Steinmanellinae subfam. nov. 

Diagnosis 

Generally very large, massive, trigonally ovate to quadrate and elliptical 
myophorellids; escutcheon narrow, lanceolate, with irregular, radially elongated 
tubercles; median groove to area marked by rows of coarse nodes; area of early 
and middle growth stages with transverse growth striae, later remaining smooth 
or with coarse, irregular growth rugae, which may extend on to the flanks; flank 
costae tend to become crowded ventrally, where they may bend sharply for- 
wards and coalesce to form irregular concentric growth rugae. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 15 

Discussion 

Poulton (1977, 1979) included Steinmanella in the synonymy of Myophorella 
but such treatment cannot be justified morphologically o? phyletically. As here 
interpreted, the Steinmanellinae arose from a myophorelline ancestor late in the 
Jurassic by an increase in size, with the shell becoming massive and robust, 
losing its delicate gracile character. The longitudinal groove to the area is 
marked by a row of conspicuous nodes, of similar strength to those forming the 
marginal and escutcheon carinae, whereas the transverse growth striae of the 
area are replaced in maturity by coarse, irregular growth rugae. The earliest 
genus in the subfamily is Steinmanella itself, which first occurs in Tithonian rocks 
of South America (Leanza & Garate 1987). Simply by failure to produce coarse 
irregular growth rugae across the mature area, Steinmanella gave rise to Yaadia, 
a predominantly North Pacific genus (Saul 1979). The latter lineage persisted 
into the Upper Cretaceous with the replacement of Yaadia by its subgenera 
Yeharella and Setotrigonia, both of which have been interpreted previously (Cox 
1969) as subgenera of Steinmanella. Although Saul (1979), Tashiro (1988) and 
Tashiro & Kano (1989) included Yeharella within the strict synonymy of Yaadia, 
it seems to be phyletically important and is here retained at the subgeneric level. 
Significantly, Tashiro & Kano (1989, fig. 4) showed the Japanese species of 
Yaadia as having evolved in parallel with their North American counterparts. 
Yeharella differs from ancestral Yaadia in the early effacement of the radial rows 
of nodes from the area, leaving the latter smooth for most of its ontogenetic 
development. In addition, the flank costae of Yeharella are not interrupted 
anteroventrally or accompanied by enlarged tubercles at the anterolateral 
shoulder (Saul 1979). Setotrigonia was said to differ from Yaadia (Yeharella) in 
that the flank costae are broken into segments of various lengths and continue 
on to the area as narrow, wavy, transverse ridges (Cox 1969). Tashiro & Moro- 
zumi (1982) questionably included it in the synonymy of Yaadia. As here envis- 
aged, the Steinmanellinae comprise Steinmanella, Yaadia s.s. and Y. (Yeharella). 
The suprageneric placement of Mediterraneotrigonia Nakano, 1974a, is 
uncertain. 

The morphologically similar Quadratotrigoniinae are a convergent, pre- 
dominantly Tethyan group; they are phyletically distinct and can be dis- 
tinguished from the Steinmanellinae nov. by the V-shaped costae of the 
umbonal region and their conspicuously ornamented areas (Nakano 1968). 

Genus Steinmanella Crickmay, 1930 
Type species. Trigonia holubi Kitchin, 1908; by original designation. 

Diagnosis 

Steinmanellines in which the escutcheon is ornamented with radial rows of 
irregular nodes, which may be continuous with the coarse growth rugae of the 
posterior part of the area; flank costae generally weakly curved, uninterrupted, 
and coarsely nodate. Age: Tithonian-Neocomian. 



16 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin, 1908) 
Figs 6-8 

Trigonia sp. 2 Sharpe, 1856: 202. 

Trigonia holubi Kitchin, 1908: 103, pi. 4 (fig. 2). Stoyanow, 1949: 68. 

Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin) Crickmay, 1930: 50. 1932: 458. Cox, 1969: N487, fig. D74.6. 

Levy, 1969: 66. Cooper, 1979ft: 63, fig. 12. Saul, 1979: 6, fig. 2. 
Steinmannella holubi (Kitchin) Kobayashi & Amano, 1955: 195. 
Trigonia (Steinmanella) holubi Kitchin. Rennie, 1936: 346. 
Yaadia holubi (Kitchin) Cox, 1952: 57. Pringle, 1960: 89. 
Myophorella (Steinmanella) holubi (Kitchin) Poulton, 1977: 9. 
Steinmanella cf. holubi (Kitchin) Cooper, 1983: 63. 

Type 

By lectotype designation of Rennie (1936: 350), the original of the specimen 
figured by Kitchin (1908, pi. 4 (fig. 2)), SAM-PCU3981 (Fig. 6). 

Material 

A total of 59 specimens were available for study in the South African 
Museum; SAM-D1881 (25 specimens), D1977 (3 specimens), D1979, D1989, 
D2541, and 28 without catalogue number. 




Fig. 6. Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin), x 1. The lectotype, SAM-PCU3981, in lateral view. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



17 




Fig. 7. Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin), x 1. Lateral view of an unnumbered topotype in the 

South African Museum. 



Description 

The shell is large (maximum length 128 mm), massive, quadrate, somewhat 
longer than high (H/L = 0,59-0,78), with inconspicuous terminal umbones and 
an abruptly truncate anterior face. The dorsal and anterior margins are straight, 
the ventral margin broadly rounded, and the broad respiratory margin subtrunc- 
ate. The valves are weakly inflated (W/H = 0,27-0,34) and the inturned beaks 
orthogyrous to slightly opisthogyrous. 

The escutcheon is very narrow, lanceolate, and ornamented with irregular 
rows of bullae that follow the growth lines and are continuous with the growth 
rugae of the area. There is a narrow lunule, about one-third of the shell height. 
The ligament pit is well developed, lanceolate, and may extend 40-50 per cent 
of the length of the escutcheon. The positions of the escutcheon and marginal 
carinae are marked by rows of prominent nodes, as is the dorsal edge of the 
longitudinal groove to the area. In maturity the tubercles of the escutcheon and 
marginal carinae are drawn out and eventually coalesce to produce irregular 
transverse ridges that parallel the growth lines. The longitudinal groove to the 
area persists to maturity, and is closer to the escutcheon than the flank. The 
broad trigonal area is essentially flat; in the nepionic stages it is crossed by sub- 
concentric flank costae but in the middle growth stages is ornamented only by 



18 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




B 






/ 




Fig. 8. Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin), x 1. A-B. Lateral and dorsal views of an aberrant 
individual in which the flank costae are interrupted anteroventrally. C. Lateral view of a frag- 
mentary left valve from the Mngazana Formation of Transkei, in the South African Museum. 
D-E. Dorsal and lateral views of a juvenile, PEM-1208c. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 19 

growth striae and the median row of tubercles. These are replaced by irregular, 
transverse growth rugae in maturity. 

Flank ornament comprises c. 16 distant rows of prominent nodes that curve 
slightly to the anterior, the nodes becoming more crowded ventrally with an 
occasional intercalated row along the anteroventral margin. The interspaces are 
slightly narrower than the rows of nodes. Along the ventral margin of mature 
shells, the tubercles tend to become elongated and may coalesce to form concen- 
tric growth rugae. In many individuals, the distal terminations of the ribs curve 
strongly to the anterior. Ornamentation does not extend on to the flattened 
anterior face and the latter is ornamented only by deep grooves and ridges par- 
allel to the growth striae. 

Occurrence 

Steinmanella holubi (Kitchin) is endemic to the Upper Valanginian of 
south-east Africa. It abounds in the more argillaceous units of the Sundays 
River Formation and also occurs in the Mngazana Formation of Transkei 
(Cooper 1983). 

Steinmanella herzogi (Goldfuss, 1837) 
Figs 9-12 

Lyrodon herzogii (Hausmann MS) Goldfuss, 1837: 193, pi. 137 (fig. 5). Krauss, 1850: 453, 

pi. 48 (fig. 3). 
Trigonia herzogi (Goldfuss) Steinmann, 1882: 220, pi. 7 (figs 1-2), pi. 9 (figs 1-2). Paulcke, 

1903: 309. Kitchin, 1903: 102; 1908: 8, pi. 5 (fig. 1). Hatch & Corstorphine, 1905: 245, 

fig. 66 (left-hand side). Stoyanow, 1949: 68. Levy, 1969: 66. 
Trigonia (Steinmanella) herzogi (Goldfuss) Rennie, 1936: 346. 
Steinmannella herzogi (Goldfuss) Kobayashi & Amano, 1955: 195. Reyes et a/., 1981: 35, pi. 1 

(fig. 13). 
Yaadia herzogi (Goldfuss) Pringle, 1960: 89. 
? Steinmannella (Steinmannella) herzogi (Hausmann) Reyes, 1970: 15, pi. 3 (fig. 2). pi. 4 

(figs 1-3). 
Steinmanella herzogi (Goldfuss) Cooper, 1979b: 63. 

Type 

The whereabouts of Goldfuss' (1837) type material is unknown; it may 
prove necessary to designate a neotype. 

Material 

In addition to 106 specimens in the South African Museum, SAM-4416, 
4994, 5035-36, 7498, 7520, D164, D1840, D1881, D1892 (13 specimens), D1911 
(40 specimens), D1914, D1916, D1940 (3 specimens), D2541 and 41 specimens 
without number, PEM-1463/52-3 and AM-2428 were also available for study. 

Description 

Shell very large (maximum length 150 mm), massive, posteriorly very 
elongate (H/L = 0,52-0,63), with moderately inflated valves (W/H = 



20 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




U 
i 

< 

a 



OJj 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



21 




I' 









22 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




\ ^S¥ 



v I 




- *T W*"" ^r, 



ft\1 




Fig. 11. Steinmanella herzogi (Goldfuss), x 1. A-B. Lateral and dorsal views of a specimen 
in the Port Elizabeth Museum. C. Lateral view PEM- 1463/53. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



23 





Fig. 12. Steinmanella herzogi (Goldfuss), x 1. Lateral, dorsal and anterior views of AM-2428 
in which the tubercles are diagonally elongate. Note the lack of tubercles to the anterior face. 



24 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

0,29-0,36). The straight dorsal and weakly curved anterior margins form an 
acute angle, with terminal umbones and weakly inturned, orthogyrous to slightly 
opisthogyrous beaks. The ventral margin is very long, weakly convex, and the 
broad respiratory margin subtruncate. 

The escutcheon is fairly narrow, and about two-thirds the length of the 
shell. It is ornamented by irregular oblique rows of elongate tubercles that vary 
in size and follow the growth striae. Posteriorly these tubercles are continuous 
with the growth rugae of the area. There is a very narrow lunule, about 40 per 
cent of the shell height. The ligament pit is moderately developed, lanceolate, 
and about 40 per cent of the length of the escutcheon. There are three rows of 
tubercles to the area, corresponding to the escutcheon and marginal carinae and 
the dorsal margin of the longitudinal groove. The number of tubercles in the 
marginal row approximates the number of flank costae. At lengths of 
50-100 mm the tubercles of the area become elongated transversely to form 
coarse, irregular, growth rugae. The concentric flank costae of the nepionic 
stages pass on to the area, whereas the longitudinal furrow persists almost to 
maturity and is situated closer to the escutcheon than the flank. 

The flanks are ornamented with coarse nodes that form almost straight rows 
directed posteroventrally over much of the shell surface. Anteriorly the tubercle 
rows are narrower than the interspaces but posteriorly they are as wide as, or 
slightly wider than, the interspaces. There may be some irregularity in the 
tubercle rows anteroventrally, with a few tubercles intercalated between rows. 

Occurrence 

Steinmanella herzogi (Goldfuss) is abundant in the Upper Valanginian of 
the Algoa Basin. It may also occur in the early Hauterivian of southern Chile. 

Superfamily megatrigoniacea van Hoepen, 1929 
(nom. transl. herein ex subfamily Megatrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929) 

Diagnosis 

Small to very large myophorellines, commonly pyriform to very produced 
and rostrate posteriorly, frequently strongly inflated anteriorly; carinae obsolete, 
or entire and restricted to umbonal region; antecarinal sulcus lacking; area 
narrow, bipartite, with ridge marking longitudinal groove internally; area com- 
monly smooth but in some with transverse, oblique or radial ornament; flanks 
variably ornamented, with subconcentric, V-shaped or strongly oblique costae, 
which may be entire, weakly nodate or strongly tuberculate; posteroventral shell 
margin generally crenulated internally. 

Discussion 

As here interpreted, the superfamily Megatrigoniacea comprises the famil- 
ies Megatrigoniidae (Megatrigoniinae, Apiotrigoniinae and Pterotrigoniinae), 
Rutitrigoniidae and Iotrigoniidae (Fig. 13). 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



25 




Fig. 13. Hypothesized relationships within the Megatrigoniacea. Character states: 1 = escut- 
cheon carina obsolete or restricted to nepionic stages, marginal carina often restricted to 
umbonal region, anteriorly produced so that umbones are generally not subterminal, area rela- 
tively narrow with concentric ornament in nepionic stages later smooth, flank costae 
subconcentric; 2 = beyond nepionic stages flank costae V-shaped, with tendency to form nodes 
at anterolateral shoulder; 3 = posterior part of flank with straight, steeply inclined, finely 
crenulated and often crowded costellae, inner margin of shell crenulated posteroventrally; 
4 = escutcheon with transverse costellae; 5 = posteriorly produced to rostrate, often inflated 
anteriorly, in some with subterminal umbones, flank costae strongly oblique varying from 
finely crenulated to spinose, respiratory margin generally rounded, escutcheon with transverse 

costellae. 

Family Megatrigoniidae van Hoepen, 1929 

(nom. transl. herein ex subfamily Megatrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929) 

Diagnosis 

Commonly pyriform to subovate megatrigoniaceans that are generally 
weakly inflated anteriorly; carinae lacking or generally restricted to the nepionic 
stages; escutcheon smooth or with transverse costellae; area smooth or with 
transverse or radial costellae; flank costae V-shaped or oblique, weakly nodate, 
entire or tuberculate. 



Discussion 

As interpreted here, the family comprises the nominate subfamily, the Pte- 
rotrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929, and the Apiotrigoniinae Tashiro, 1979. 



26 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Anditrigonia is the earliest megatrigoniine (Levy 19676; Reyes & Perez 
1982); its diversity and abundance in South America leaves little doubt as to its 
Gondwanic origin. Megatrigonia is descended from Anditrigonia by a straighten- 
ing of the flank costae from V-shaped to strongly oblique. Although 
Columbitrigonia Poulton, 1977, can be assigned to the Megatrigoniidae without 
difficulty, its subfamilial placement is more problematical. It was placed in the 
Megatrigoniinae by Poulton (1977) and the Apiotrigoniinae by Tashiro (1979). 
Contrary to Tashiro (1979), however, it lacks the fundamental apiotrigoniine 
characters of relatively small size, weak inflation, V-shaped flank costae and 
transversely costellate escutcheon. On the other hand, Columbitrigonia is 
strongly reminiscent of Megatrigonia in its large, robust shell, oblique flank 
costae, and smooth escutcheon, while resembling Pterotrigoniinae in its strong 
anterior inflation and posteriorly rostrate valves. Until its phylogeny is better 
understood, Poulton (1977) is followed in assigning it to the Megatrigoniinae. 

Heterotrigonia and its allies are included in the Apiotrigoniinae by Tashiro 
(1979), but from virtually the first appearance of the subfamily there are two dis- 
tinct phyletic lines (cf. Tashiro 1979, figs 17-18). Skwarko (1970), Nakano 
(1971) and Tashiro (1979) consider Trigonia calderoni Castillo & Aguilerae from 
the Oxfordian-Tithonian of New Mexico and Arizona (Stoyanow 1949; Reyes & 
Perez 1982) to be the earliest apiotrigoniine. Whereas Skwarko (1970) and 
Tashiro (1979) referred this species to Apiotrigonia, Nakano (1971) assigned it 
to Heterotrigonia, Reyes & Perez (1982) questionably included it in Anditrigo- 
nia, and Perez & Reyes (1983) placed it in Anditrigonia {P ar anditrigonia) . 
Given the smooth escutcheon and fine radial costellae to the area of T. calde- 
roni, the latter assignment is followed here. Anditrigonia {Par anditrigonia) 
calderoni is thus the common ancestor to two phyletic lines that persisted until 
the close of the Cretaceous (Tashiro 1979). Since treatment of Par anditrigonia 
as a subgenus of Anditrigonia emphasizes primitive characters, when it is the 
derived characters (radial ornament to the area) that are phyletically important, 
Par anditrigonia is elevated to generic status and included as the most primitive 
representative of the Heterotrigoniini new tribe. As such, the subfamily Apiotri- 
goniinae is divided into the nominate tribe Apiotrigoniini (comprising 
Apiotrigonia, Dampietrigonia, Turkestanella and Microtrigonia) and the tribe 
Heterotrigoniini nov. (with Par anditrigonia, Heterotrigonia and Nakanotrigonia). 

The origins of the Pterotrigoniinae are more cryptic. The subfamily first 
appeared in the Lower Tithonian of India (Spath 1935; Kobayashi & Amano 
1955; Cox 1961) and rose to dominance in the Cretaceous. Although widely 
interpreted as descended from the Myophorellinae (Kobayashi & Nakano 1957; 
Nakano & Numano 1961; Nakano 1974a; Tashiro & Matsuda 1986), this view is 
based upon a comparison with relatively derived members of the Pterotrigonii- 
nae, viz. Pterotrigonia and Ptilotrigonia , when it is the characters of the most 
primitive representatives, i.e. Pisotrigonia, that must carry the most weight phy- 
logenetically. Some individuals of Megatrigonia (cf. Figs 15B, 16B) closely 
approach the Pisotrigonia condition, differing mainly in being larger, less- 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 27 

inflated anteriorly and pyriform in outline, with a strongly convex anterior 
margin. 

Subfamily Megatrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929 

Diagnosis 

Shell generally large, massive, pyriform; respiratory margin rounded and 
anterior margin convex; escutcheon carina lacking, marginal carina restricted to 
nepionic stages; bipartite area initially with concentric ribs, later smooth; flank 
costae primitively subconcentric anteriorly and subvertical and crowded pos- 
teriorly, hence V-shaped; later strongly oblique anteriorly and weakly nodate. 

Discussion 

Megatrigonia is known with certainty only from Tithonian and Neocomian 
rocks of the east coast of Africa. However, its close morphological resemblance 
to Anditrigonia Levy, 1967b, many species of which have been included 
(Nakano 1965) in Megatrigonia, leaves no doubt as to its ancestry. Although 
Tashiro (1979) included Columbitrigonia and Megatrigonia conocardiiformis 
(Krauss) in the Apiotrigoniinae, their unornamented area and escutcheon sug- 
gests better placement in the Megatrigoniinae. 

Genus Megatrigonia van Hoepen, 1929 

Type species. Megatrigonia obesa van Hoepen, 1929; by original desig- 
nation. 

Diagnosis 

Very large, robust megatrigoniids with nontuberculate flank costae that 
pinch and swell irregularly without forming discrete nodes. Anterior flank costae 
strongly oblique, distant. 

Megatrigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss, 1843) 
Figs 14, 15A-C, 16 

Lyriodon conocardiiformis Krauss, 1843: 130. 

Lyrodon conocardiiformis Krauss, 1850: 454, pi. 49 (figs la-d). 

Trigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss) Lycett, 1879: 210, 211, 230. Paulcke, 1903: 309. Kitchin. 
1908: 119, pi. 7 (figs 2-4). Lambert, 1944: 392. Stoyanow, 1949: 80. Reyes, 1970: 9. 

non Trigonia aff. conocardiiformis (Krauss) Burckhardt, 1903: 72, pi. 13 (figs 1-2) (= Anditri- 
gonia eximia (Philippi)). 

non Trigonia conocardiiformis Lange {non Krauss), 1914: 235, pi. 19 (figs la-b) (= M. siaffi 
■ (Lange)). 

Trigonia (Megatrigonia) conocardiiformis (Krauss) Rennie, 1936: 332. Leanza, 1941: 232. 

Megatrigonia (Megatrigonia) conocardiiformis (Krauss) Cox, 1952: 58. Da Silva, 1966: 68, pi. 4 
(fig. 2); Levy, 19676: 136. Nakano, 1965: 17. Cooper, 19796: 58. 

Apiotrigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss) Tashiro, 1979: 183. 



28 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





DC 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 29 

Type 

The whereabouts of Krauss' (1843) type material is unknown; it may be 
necessary to designate a neotype. 

Material 

A total of 75 specimens were available for study, 70- in the South African 
Museum, SAM-4642-3, 4644, 4649, 5033-4, 5042, 7107, 7492, 7524, 7494, 
7591, 9841-3, 12444-5, D1897, D1898 (11 specimens), D1910 (23 specimens), 
D1934, D1937, D1939 (3 specimens), D1991, and 12 unnumbered specimens, as 
well as 5 in the Port Elizabeth Museum, PEM-1464/72, 1463/51 and 3 unnum- 
bered specimens. 

Description 

Shell very large (maximum length about 165 mm), massive, pyriform, 
inequilateral, strongly produced posteriorly (H/L = 0,50-0,61). Umbones fairly 
prominent, rounded, situated about 30 per cent of the shell length from the 
anterior, with moderately inturned, slightly opisthogyrous beaks. Valves 
moderately inflated anteriorly (H/W = 0,40-0,57). Anterior margin strongly 
convex, passing imperceptibly into the broad, gently convex ventral margin; the 
posterodorsal margin is shallowly concave and the respiratory margin rounded. 

The very elongate, lanceolate escutcheon is sunken and smooth. There is a 
very narrow but rather deep lunule that extends about one-third of the shell 
height. An escutcheon carina is lacking whereas, beyond about 8 mm from the 
umbo, the marginal carina passes into a rounded umbonal ridge. The area is 
narrow, unornamented beyond the nepionic stage, with a prominent longitudi- 
nal groove that is closer to the escutcheon than the flank. The nepionic stages 
show crowded, simple, subconcentric ribs running from the anterior commissure 
to the marginal carina, where they flex strongly forwards, forming an acute 
angle with the flank costae, to cross the area obliquely and pass weakly on to the 
outer part of the escutcheon. Later flank costae are discrepant, with a coarse, 
robust, distant, strongly oblique anterior set of about 10-13 ribs that pinch and 
swell irregularly but do not form true nodes. These costae curve strongly 
upwards posteriorly to become subvertical, whereas anteriorly they may zigzag 
or break up into pustules; in large specimens they become effaced anteroven- 
trally. Then follow about seven similar ribs that are subvertical and only weakly 
curved. The posterior set of c. 18 costae are narrow, crowded, somewhat undu- 
latory, broader than the interspaces, almost straight, and inclined postero- 
ventrally. Ribbing is effaced posterodorsally, just before reaching the area, to 
leave a small portion of the flank smooth. 

Occurrence 

Megatrigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss) is reported from the Upper Titho- 
nian of northern Mozambique, the Upper Valanginian of the Algoa Basin, 



30 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



v 




^^jgf 



,r 




■if 







Fig. 15. A-C. Megatrigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss). A. Left lateral view of 
PEM-1463/51, x 1. B. Left lateral view of a specimen in the Port Elizabeth Museum. Note 
the similarity of this individual to Pisotrigonia, the main difference being the more rounded 
anterior and lack of anterior inflation. C. Right valve of an unnumbered specimen in the Port 
Elizabeth Museum. D. Pisotrigonia kraussi (Kitchin), x 1. Left valve of a juvenile, 

SAM-PCU7623. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



31 




Fig. 16. Megatrigonia conocardiiformis (Krauss), x 1. A-B. Dorsal and lateral views of a 
juvenile, PEM- 1464/72. C-D. Right lateral views of two unnumbered topotypes in the Port 

Elizabeth Museum. 



where it is a moderately common element, and from the Robberg Formation, 
the age of which is under debate but probably late Valanginian. 



Subfamily Pterotrigoniinae van Hoepen, 1929 

Diagnosis 

Small to moderately large megatrigoniids, ovate to club-shaped and 
posteriorly rostrate; umbones prominent, often with strongly incurved, opistho- 
gyrous beaks; escutcheon sunken, lanceolate, with transverse costellae; 
escutcheon carina obsolete; marginal carina generally restricted to umbonal 
region; area crossed by concentric ribs in nepionic stages, later ribbing effaced, 
oblique, V-shaped or radial; flank costae oblique, prominently tuberculate or 
finely crenulated, often differentiated into anterior and posterior sets. 



32 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Discussion 

The earliest representative of the subfamily is Pisotrigonia which, at the 
beginning of the Cretaceous, gave rise to Pterotrigonia. The latter, in turn, is 
believed to have given rise to the Scabrotrigoniini Cooper, 1989, which rose to 
dominance in the Upper Cretaceous. The Scabrotrigoniini comprise the weakly 
inflated and lunate pterotrigoniines such as Ptilotrigonia, Scabrotrigonia, and 
Acanthotrigonia, culminating in Linotrigonia in which tuberculation is reduced 
and the ribs are finely crenulated. Arabitrigonia is similar to Scabrotrigonia but 
with a straight dorsal margin, an obliquely truncate respiratory margin, and 
radial costellae to the nepionic stages of the area. Its relationship to Scabrotrigo- 
nia is the same as that between Anditrigonia and Paranditrigonia. 

Although there are marked similarities between Apiotrigoniinae and Ptero- 
trigoniinae, including transverse costellae to the area and escutcheon, finely 
tuberculate costae in some, and an internally crenulated posteroventral margin, 
the phylogeny depicted by Tashiro (1979) suggests the similarities are the result 
of convergence. 

Genus Pterotrigonia van Hoepen, 1929 

Type species. Pterotrigonia cristata van Hoepen, 1929; by original desig- 
nation. 

Diagnosis 

Club-shaped pterotrigoniines, much longer than high, with a concave 
posterodorsal margin; valves strongly inflated anteriorly, rostrate posteriorly; 
area smooth in maturity; flank costae conspicuously tuberculate, poorly discrimi- 
nated into anterior and posterior sets; those to the anterior are curved whereas 
those to the posterior are straight, inclined, and finely crenulated. 

Discussion 

The above diagnosis of Pterotrigonia is more restricted than that of Cox 
(1969), since it excludes Scabrotrigonia, Acanthotrigonia, Ptilotrigonia and Piso- 
trigonia, which are regarded as generically distinct. Differences with Pisotrigonia 
are noted below. 

Like the genera Trigonia and Myophorella, there are numerous species of 
'Pterotrigonia' that only vaguely approach the type species and which must, in 
the future, be assigned, on phyletic grounds, to other taxa. Several represen- 
tatives in the present fauna fall into this category but, until a more thorough 
phylogenetic analysis of the genus is attempted, no new names are introduced. 

Subgenus Pterotrigonia van Hoepen, 1929 

Diagnosis 

Small to large, generally much longer than high; flank ornament discrepant, 
with tuberculate anterior set and finely crenulated, straight posterior set. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 33 

Pterotrigonia (? Pterotrigonia) knighti (Pringle, 1960) 

Figs 17-18 

Trigonia knighti Pringle, 1960: 90, pi. 1 (figs 1-3). 
Pterotrigonia (Pterotrigonia) knighti (Pringle) Cooper, 1979b: 55. 

Types 

The holotype is in the Port Elizabeth Museum (Figs 17-18). There are two 
paratypes in the British Museum (Natural History), and a third in the Natal 
Museum (Pietermaritzburg). The whereabouts of two other specimens referred 
to by Pringle (1960) is uncertain. 

Description 

The shell is large (maximum length at least 109 mm), club shaped, as high 
as long (H/L = 0,99-1,01), massive, strongly inflated anteriorly (W/H = 
0,37-0,43) and rostrate posteriorly. The very prominent umbones are subtermi- 
nal, with strongly inturned, opisthogyrous beaks. The straight, subvertical 
anterior margin passes evenly into the almost straight ventral margin. The 
posterodorsal margin is broadly concave and the respiratory margin seems to 
have been narrowly rounded. The oval, flattened anterior face meets the flanks 
at prominent anterolateral shoulders. 

The escutcheon is very broad, sunken, and extends almost the entire postero- 
dorsal length of the shell. It is ornamented with numerous, finely beaded, 
transverse costellae that are narrower than the interspaces. The area is narrow, 
unornamented beyond the nepionic stages and has a persistent longitudinal 
groove. As in P. tocaimaana (Lea), there is a prominent marginal carina that per- 
sists to the middle growth stages. 

Flank ornament is moderately discrepant. It comprises a flexuous set of 
about 12, rather coarse, flared anterior costae that curve strongly upwards and 
extend to the anterior commissure. These ribs are irregularly tuberculate, with 
3-4 large tubercles on the anterolateral shoulder. The ten or so costae of the 
posterior set of ribs are finely crenulated, subparallel, narrower than the inter- 
spaces, and meet the posteroventral margin at right angles. 

Occurrence 

Pterotrigonia (? Pterotrigonia) knighti (Pringle) is known only from the 
Upper Valanginian of the Algoa Basin, where it is a very rare component of the 
faunas. 



Pterotrigonia rogersi (Kitchin, 1908) 
Figs 19-20 

Trigonia rogersi Kitchin, 1908: 99, pi. 3 (fig. 3), pi. 4 (fig. 1), pi. 5 (fig. 2). 
Pterotrigonia rogersi (Kitchin) Pringle, 1960: 89. Cooper, 1979b: 57, fig. 7. 
Megatrigonia rogersi (Kitchin) Nakano, 1965: 17. 
?Megatrigonia rogersi (Kitchin) Reyes, 1970: 8, pi. 1 (figs 1-2), pi. 3 (fig. 1). 



34 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




W 



O 

J3 



© 
X 

c 
•C 

Oh, 



■2 
c 

■I 

ft, 



&0 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



35 



Type 

By lectotype designation herein, the original of the specimen figured by 
Kitchin (1908, pi. 3 (fig. 3), pi. 4 (fig. 1)), SAM-3974 (Fig. 19C). 

Material 

A total of 108 specimens in the South African Museum, SAM-5088, 12950- 
53, 12955-58, 12960-62, D1882 (73 specimens) and 22 without number, as well 
as PEM-1465/61. 

Description 

Shell moderately large (maximum length 135 mm), strongly inequi- 
lateral, moderately inflated anteriorly (W/H = 0,35-0,44), longer than high 




Fig. 18. Pterotrigonia (? Pterotrigonia) knighti (Pringle), x 1. Dorsal view of the holotype. 



36 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




X 






B 




Fig. 19. Pterotrigonia rogersi (Kitchin), x 1. A-B. Dorsal and lateral views of PEM- 1465/61. 
C. Lateral view of the lectotype in the South African Museum. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 37 

(H/L = 0,63-0,71) and posteriorly produced. Umbones prominent, broad, 
strongly incurved, situated about one-quarter of the shell length from the 
anterior, with slightly opisthogyrous beaks. Anterior margin broadly convex, 
flattish, passing into the very broad, gently convex ventral margin. The postero- 
dorsal margin is shallowly concave, and the respiratory margin subtruncate with 
a distinct posterior gape. 

The ligament pit is about 17 per cent of the shell length. The sunken escut- 
cheon is very broad, conspicuous, lanceolate, with fine, beaded, obliquely 
transverse costellae that become obsolete before reaching the commissure. In 
the nepionic stages, the costellae of the escutcheon extend to the median longi- 
tudinal groove of the area, giving the inner area a beaded appearance for up to 
15 mm from the beak. A beaded marginal carina may extend for the same dis- 
tance, becoming rounded thereafter. The area is narrow, with a prominent 
longitudinal groove that persists to maturity and is positioned slightly closer to 
the escutcheon than the flank. In the nepionic stages it is ornamented by fine, 
oblique costellae that are more numerous than the flank costae, which they meet 
at the marginal carina in an anteriorly directed chevron. Beyond 15 mm from 
the umbo, the area is unornamented. 




Fig. 20. Pterotrigonia rogersi (Kitchin), x 1. Left valve of a topotype in the South African 

Museum. 



In the nepionic stages the distinctly tuberculate flank costae are subconcen- 
tric. Later flank costae are strongly oblique but not sharply discrepant and 
extend to the anterior commissure. The anterior 12 or so costae are narrower 
than or as broad as the interspaces, finely but prominently tuberculate, and 
weakly curved until they reach the anterior face where they curve strongly 
upwards to meet the anterior commissure almost at right angles. On the pos- 
terior half of the flanks the costae are straight, rigid, and inclined slightly to the 
posterior, with slightly narrower interspaces. 



38 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Discussion 

The side-by-side occurrence of two species of Pterotrigonia, Pterotrigonia 
(? Pterotrigonia) knighti and P. rogersi points to an early Neocomian radiation of 
the Pterotrigoniinae. Although P. rogersi does not fall easily into any of the 
available genera and subgenera, it is referred to Pterotrigonia pending further 
phylogenetic study. 

Occurrence 

Pterotrigonia rogersi (Kitchin) is a common element in the Upper Valangin- 
ian faunas from the Algoa Basin. It may also occur in the Lower Hauterivian of 
southern Chile. 

Genus Pisotrigonia van Hoepen, 1929 

Type species. Pisotrigonia salebrosa van Hoepen, 1929; by original desig- 
nation. 

Diagnosis 

Like Pterotrigonia but as high as long, often extremely inflated anteriorly 
and with broadly flattened anterior face. Posterodorsal margin deeply excavate. 
Umbones very conspicuous, subterminal, with beaks exceptionally incurved, 
opisthogyrous; escutcheon with transverse costellae, which may be very weak or 
absent in early representatives; area smooth except in nepionic stages; flank 
costae markedly discrepant, with generally thick, robust, distant, coarsely tuber- 
culate, anterior costae and narrow, straight, crowded, finely serrated posterior 
costae. Age: Tithonian-Cenomanian (?Maastrichtian). 

Discussion 

Although most workers have rejected Pisotrigonia as a junior subjective 
synonym of Rinetrigonia (Kobayashi & Nakano 1957; Skwarko 1963; Nakano 
19746), the former genus has page priority (Cooper 1988, 1989). 

Pisotrigonia ventricosa (Krauss, 1843) 
Fig. 21 

Lyriodon ventricosa Krauss, 1843: 130. 

Lyrodon ventricosus Krauss, 1850: 456, pi. 49 (figs 2c-f only). 

Trigonia ventricosa (Krauss) Stoliczka, 1871: 315, pi. 15 (figs 9, 9a). Lycett, 1875: 119, plus 

text-figure. Miiller, 1900: 543, pi. 19 (figs 4-5). Paulcke, 1903: 308. Rogers, 1905: 291, 

fig. 25,2. Kitchin, 1908: 91, pi. 3 (fig. 1). Woods, 1917: 21. Spath, 1931: 542; 1933: 798. 

Dietrich, 1938: 97. Stoyanow, 1949: 88. Reyes, 1970: 9. 
Rinetrigonia ventricosa (Krauss) van Hoepen, 1929: 22. 
Pterotrigonia ventricosa (Krauss) Cox, 1952: 59; 1961: 23. Pringle, 1960: 89. 
Pterotrigonia (Rinetrigonia) ventricosa (Krauss) Crickmay, 1932: 461. Kobayashi & Nakano, 

1957: 230. Skwarko, 1963: 20; 1966: 99; 1968: 173. Levy, 1967a: 102. 
non Trigonia ventricosa Kitchin (non Krauss), 1903: 104, pi. 10 (figs 4-8) (= P. parva van 

Hoepen). 
non Trigonia ventricosa Etheridge (non Krauss), 1907: 76, pi. 1 (figs 7-8) (indeterminate 

pterotrigoniine). 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 39 

Type 

The whereabouts of Krauss' (1843) type material is unknown; it may be 
necessary to designate a neotype. 

Material 

Hundreds of specimens in the South African Museum, many unnumbered 
or with the Van Hoepen number D1841. 

Description 

Shell medium sized (maximum length 50 mm), strongly inequilateral, as 
high as long (H/L = 0,91-1,13), anteriorly extremely inflated (H/W = 
0,47-0,54) and rostrate posteriorly. Conjoined valves are wider than long. 
Umbones very prominent, extremely incurved, with opisthogyrous beaks. 
Anterior margin weakly curved to almost straight, very high, with broad, flattish 
anterior face, passing rather sharply into the broad, straight to slightly concave 
ventral margin. The posterodorsal margin is deeply concave and the narrow 
respiratory margin rounded. 

The escutcheon is broad, deeply sunken, lanceolate, with weak oblique 
costellae along its outer margin, the inner margin being smooth. In some 
individuals the escutcheon is entirely ribbed or entirely smooth. Carinae are 
restricted to the nepionic stage. The area is narrow, bipartite, with oblique 
costellae in the umbonal region but later smooth. 

The flank costae of the nepionic stages are subconcentric, with fine trans- 
verse ridges. Later costae are markedly discrepant, divided into a coarse, distant 
anterior set that curves markedly only on the anterior face to meet the com- 
missure at right angles, and a fine, crowded posterior set. The anterior costae 
are as wide as or narrower than the interspaces; those closest to the umbo are 
coarsely tuberculate throughout. Posteriorly, however, the coarse rounded 
tuberculation is increasingly restricted to the ventral part of the costa, leaving 
the dorsal extension as a thin, wavy, vertical, finely crenulated costella. It is with 
final loss of coarse tuberculation that the change to the posterior set occurs in 
which the wavy, crowded, subvertical costellae are finely crenulated throughout. 
There are about 10-12 costae in the anterior set and 8-12 in the posterior set. 

Discussion 

Kitchin (1903: 104, pi. 10 (fig. 4)) identified material from the Tithonian of 
Cutch with T. ventricosa (Krauss). Van Hoepen (1929: 38), however, considered 
the anterior ribs of the Cutch species to be too coarse, with larger and more 
prominent nodes, and the posterior ribs too uneven for assignment to T. ventri- 
cosa. Consequently, he renamed the Cutch species Pisotrigonia parva (Fig. 22). 
Although Rennie (1936) was highly critical of Van Hoepen's (1929) taxonomy, 
the writer has — through the courtesy of Drs N. J. Morris and R. J. Cleevely, 
studied topotype material of P. parva van Hoepen and concurs that it is a dis- 
tinctive Tithonian species. Also closely allied is Pisotrigonia tuberculifera 



40 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 21. Pisotrigonia ventricosa (Krauss), x 1. A-D. Lateral, posterior, anterior and dorsal 
views of the provisional neotype. E-F. Dorsal and lateral views of a topotype. G-H. Lateral 
and dorsal views of a topotype. I-J. Internal and external views of a left valve. All the speci- 
mens are in the South African Museum. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



41 





Fig. 22. Pisotrigonia parva van Hoepen, x 1. The holotype (after Kitchin 1903). 

(Stoliczka) (1871: 315, pi. 15 (figs 10-12)), which was said to differ '. . . by 
being of a more regularly rounded triangular shape, less attenuated and pro- 
duced posteriorly, and possessing a narrower and not so deeply excavated area' 
(Stoliczka 1871: 315). 

Occurrence 

Pisotrigonia ventricosa (Krauss) abounds in the Upper Valanginian of 
south-east Africa. It questionably also occurs in the Tithonian of India (Cutch) 
and East Africa (Tanzania). 

Pisotrigonia kraussi (Kitchin, 1908) 
Figs 15D, 23 

Lyrodon ventricosus Krauss, 1850, pi. 2 (fig. 2a-b only). 
Trigonia kraussi Kitchin, 1908: 95, pi. 3 (fig. 2). 
Rinetrigonia kraussi (Kitchin) van Hoepen, 1929: 22. 

Pterotrigonia (Rinetrigonia) kraussi (Kitchin) Kobayashi & Nakano, 1957: 230, fig. 1. Skwarko, 
1968: 174. 



Type 

The holotype is, by monotypy, the original of the specimen figured by 
Kitchin (1908, pi. 3 (fig. 2)) (Fig. 23), in the South African Museum. 

Material 

In addition to the holotype (SAM-3999), there are three other specimens in 
the South African Museum, SAM-D1942 and D1883 (2 specimens). 

Description 

Shell large (maximum length about 90 mm), higher than long (H/L = 0,82), 
strongly inequilateral, extremely inflated anteriorly (H/W = 0,54) and rostrate 



42 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



posteriorly. Umbones very prominent, massive, subterminal, with extremely 
incurved, opisthogyrous beaks. The anterior margin is very high, weakly convex, 
and with a very broad, flattened anterior face. It passes rather abruptly into the 
straight to shallowly concave ventral margin. The posterodorsal margin is mark- 
edly concave and the respiratory margin presumably narrowly rounded. The 
anterolateral shoulders protrude significantly beyond the anterior commissure. 

The escutcheon is relatively broad and deeply excavate, without oblique 
costellae. The marginal carina is restricted to the nepionic stages, quickly 
becoming rounded and indistinct. The area is very narrow, with a prominent 
longitudinal groove, and lacks ornament for much of its growth. 

On the nepionic stages the flank costae are subconcentric. Later they 
become strongly oblique and markedly discrepant. The eight ribs of the anterior 
series are very robust, exaggerated, narrower than the interspaces, almost 
straight, but curving upwards on the anterior face. They are generally coarsely 
tuberculate but on SAM-D1942 the anterior costae seem to be nontuberculate. 
These anterior ribs approach the anterior commissure obliquely but pinch out 
before reaching it; the anteroventral ribs are the first to reach the commissure, 
which they contact at right angles. The finely crenulated, crowded costellae of 
the posterior series are initially subvertical, but become increasingly inclined to 
the posterior, and are about as narrow as the interspaces. 





Fig. 23. Pisotrigonia kraussi (Kitchin), x 1. Lateral and anterior views of the holotype in the 

South African Museum. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 43 

Occurrence 

Pisotrigonia kraussi (Kitchin) is a very rare component in the Upper 
Valanginian faunas of south-east Africa. 

Family Iotrigoniidae Saveliev, 1958 
(nom. transl. herein ex subfamily Iotrigoniinae Saveliev, 1958). 

Diagnosis 

Medium to large megatrigoniaceans; pyriform to subovate; posteriorly 
strongly produced, inequilateral; respiratory margin narrowly rounded to 
obliquely truncate; escutcheon crossed by weak transverse costellae in nepionic 
stage, later smooth; carinae generally restricted to nepionic stage; area narrow, 
bipartite, smooth except in earliest growth stages; flanks with generally fine sub- 
concentric costae anteriorly meeting fewer, broader, subvertical posterior costae 
in a chevron; ornament may be replaced by concentric growth rugae in maturity. 

Discussion 

Although this taxon is included by many within the synonymy of the Mega- 
trigoniinae, the subfamily is present already in the Upper Bajocian of 
Argentina, contemporaneous with the most primitive megatrigoniines, i.e. Andi- 
trigonia kiedeli (Weaver) (Leanza & Garate 1987). Since Iotrigonia persists into 
the Maastrichtian of New Zealand (Fleming 1964, 1987) it is an important phy- 
letic line that merits recognition. Its origins are cryptic. Saveliev (1958) 
suggested derivation from Vaugoniidae of the Myophorellacea, but the writer 
follows Kitchin (1903) in regarding the similarities as due to convergence. The 
importance of V-shaped flank costae to primitive Megatrigoniinae, together with 
a smooth escutcheon and impersistent carinae, suggests a common ancestry for 
the Iotrigoniinae and Megatrigoniinae. 

Genus Iotrigonia van Hoepen, 1929 

Type species. Iotrigonia crassitesta van Hoepen, 1929; by original desig- 
nation. 

Diagnosis 

Area unornamented beyond the nepionic stages and with a rounded respir- 
atory margin. Anterior flank costae often irregular, zigzagging, pinching and 
swelling, and forming prominent tubercles at the anterolateral shoulder in some; 
anterior face smooth; chevrons persist to large size but may become effaced in 
maturity when they are replaced by concentric growth rugae. 

Discussion 

The earliest species to be assigned to Iotrigonia is /. radixscripta (Lambert) 
(1944: 369, pi. 1 (figs 7-8), pi. 6 (fig. 1); Leanza & Garate 1987: 225, pi. 2 



44 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

(fig. 7)) from the mid-Bajocian to early Callovian of Argentina. This species 
differs in several noteworthy aspects from typical Iotrigonia, notably in its 
straight posterodorsal margin, obliquely truncate respiratory margin, relatively 
prominent marginal carina, and the presence of a carina marking the longitudi- 
nal furrow to the area, as well as conspicuous growth rugae to the adult area. 
These differences are here considered to warrant generic separation and the 
name Lambertiella is proposed, with Trigonia radixscripta Lambert as type 
species. Iotrigonia attained a near-cosmopolitan distribution in the Tithonian- 
Neocomian. In the Australasian province it gave rise to Zaletrigonia Skwarko, 
1963, which is distinguished by the rapid replacement of chevrons by two sets of 
oblique ribs that converge ventrally but do not meet. 



Iotrigonia vau (Sharpe, 1856) 
Fig. 24 

Trigonia vau Sharpe, 1856: 194, pi. 22 (fig. 5). Tate, 1867, pi. 7 (fig. 8). Paulcke, 1903: 309. 

Kitchin, 1903: 67; 1908: 110, pi. 6 (figs 1-3). Stoyanow, 1949: 79. Skwarko, 1963: 17. 

Reyes, 1970: 12. 
Iotrigonia vau (Sharpe) van Hoepen, 1929: 9. Nakano, 1965: 19. 
Trigonia (Iotrigonia) vau Sharpe. Rennie, 1936: 343. 
Megatrigonia (Iotrigonia) vau (Sharpe) Cox, 1952: 58. Pringle, 1960: 89. 
Iotrigonia cf. vau (Sharpe) Cooper, 1979b: 52, fig. 2. 

Type 

By lectotype designation herein, the original of the specimen figured by 
Sharpe (1856, pi. 22 (fig. 5)). 

Material 

In addition to 25 specimens available for study in the South African 
Museum, SAM-653, 4645, 4650-2, 4655, 5039-40, 5089, 7454, 7567, 7569, 
7571, 7572 (2 specimens), 7573-74, 7575 (2 specimens), 7595, 12776, D574, 
D1944 and two unnumbered specimens, there are also several unnumbered 
specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum. 

Description 

Shell medium sized (maximum length about 65 mm), trigonally ovate, 
elongate (H/L = 0,52-0,61), with the moderately elevated umbones situated 
about one-third of the shell length from the anterior. The posterodorsal margin 
is shallowly concave, the anterior margin strongly convex passing imperceptibly 
into the broadly convex ventral margin, and the respiratory margin narrowly 
rounded. The valves are moderately inflated anteriorly (H/W = 0,33-0,36). 

The sunken escutcheon is narrow, lanceolate, smooth, and extends about 
50 per cent of the posterodorsal shell length. It rises slightly at the commissure. 
The area is narrow, smooth beyond the nepionic stages, and with a longitudinal 
groove that weakens and may become obsolete posteriorly. Inner and marginal 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



45 




Fig. 24. Iotrigonia vau (Sharpe), x 1. A. Lateral view of the specimen in the South African 
Museum figured by Kitchin (1908). B-C. Lateral and dorsal views of a right valve in the Port 
Elizabeth Museum. D. Right valve of a posteriorly elongate individual in the Port Elizabeth 
Museum. E-F. Lateral and dorsal views of a left valve in which the posterior branches of the 
flank costae are unusually swollen. 



carinae are lacking. The area is ornamented by transverse costellae for about 
7 mm from the beak, after which the ribs are restricted to the angulation separ- 
ating the area and escutcheon. 

The flank ornament of the nepionic stages, up to a distance of 10 mm from 
the umbones, comprises fine concentric ribs, about as wide as the interspaces. 
These pass obliquely across the area with a slight inflexion at the position of the 
marginal carina, and continue weakly on to the outer edge of the escutcheon. 



46 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Beyond this stage the adult ornament is developed abruptly, with the flank 
costae forming deep chevrons whose axial trace is inclined to the posterior. The 
broad, low, ribs of the posterior branches are much wider than the interspaces 
and, except perhaps at the extreme posterior, are directed anteroventrally. The 
much finer oblique ribs of the anterior branches meet the posterior ribs almost 
at right angles in a ratio of 3 : 2 in the later growth stages. Anteriorly the ribs 
bend sharply upwards and become sinuous, with irregular zigzags, but become 
obsolete on the anterolateral shoulder, leaving the anterior face impressed only 
by growth striae. The flank chevrons become obsolete at the largest growth 
stages, when the anterior branches form coarse concentric growth rugae that 
interfere with and crenulate the posterior ribs, giving them a nodate appearance. 
Anteroventrally the ribs become irregular, zigzagging and pinching and swelling. 

Occurrence 

Iotrigonia vau (Sharpe) is a common element in the late Valanginian faunas 
of south-east Africa. It is probably also present in the Robberg Formation, and 
has been reported from the Tithonian of East Africa. 



Iotrigonia stowi (Kitchin, 1908) 
Fig. 25 

Trigonia sp. Kitchin, 1903: 74. 

Trigonia stowi Kitchin, 1908: 115, pi. 6 (figs 4-5), pi. 7 (fig. 1). 

Iotrigonia stowi (Kitchin) van Hoepen, 1929: 8. Nakano, 1965: 19. Cooper, 1979b: 52, fig. 4. 

Trigonia (Iotrigonia) stowi (Kitchin) Rennie, 1936: 343. 

Megatrigonia (Iotrigonia) stowi (Kitchin) Cox, 1952: 58. Pringle, 1960: 89. 

? Iotrigonia stowi (Kitchin) Reyes, 1970: 11, pi. 2 (fig. 3). 

?Iotrigonia stowi var. aisenensis Reyes, 1970: 13, pi. 2 (figs 1-2). 

Type 

By lectotype designation herein, the original of the specimen figured by 
Kitchin (1908, pi. 6 (fig. 5)), SAM-PCU3979 (Fig. 25A). 

Material 

Two unnumbered specimens in the South African Museum, as well as 
PEM-1465/62 and AM-721. 

Description 

Shell moderately large (maximum length about 110 mm), very elongate 
(H/L = 0,52), variable in outline, but typically subtrapezoidal, with weakly 
inflated valves (H/W = 0,16). The fairly prominent umbones are situated 
between one-quarter and one-third of the shell length from the anterior, and the 
beaks are weakly incurved and slightly opisthogyrous. The posterodorsal margin 
is shallowly concave, almost straight and forms an obtuse angle with the straight, 
strongly produced anterior border. The long ventral margin is gently convex and 
the siphonal margin narrowly rounded. 



LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 



47 




<^0 




Fig. 25. Iotrigonia stowi (Kitchin), x 1. A. Lateral view of right valve figured by Kitchin 
(1908). B-C. Dorsal and lateral views of a specimen in the Port Elizabeth Museum. Note the 
swollen tubercles near the anteroventral margin. 



48 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

The escutcheon is relatively long, lanceolate, shallowly concave, and 
smooth. The ligament pit is relatively short and broad. The area is narrow, 
convex, and with a pronounced longitudinal furrow that persists to maturity. 
Marginal and inner carinae are lacking at all observable growth stages. 

The flank ornament of the nepionic stages comprises fine concentric ribs 
that cross the line of the marginal carina with an inflexion and continue across 
the area and escutcheon. The adult flank costae form deep acute chevrons 
whose axial trace curves posteriorly, the anterior branches being fine and 
oblique whereas the posterior branches are broad, low, and directed anteroven- 
trally. The number of ribs in the two branches are approximately equal, 
although an occasional rib may be intercalated anteriorly. In maturity the 
anterior costae become relatively broad, swollen, and irregular, zigzagging and 
forming upwardly directed chevrons, or breaking into weak nodes. In some indi- 
viduals ribbing becomes obsolete anteroventrally. Close to the ventral border 
the posterior ribs are intersected by deep, irregularly developed growth striae 
causing them to break up into weak nodes. Large specimens show exaggerated 
swollen tubercles anteroventrally that replace the zigzagging costae. 

Occurrence 

Iotrigonia stowi (Kitchin) is a rare element in the Upper Valanginian faunas 
of south-east Africa. It may also occur in the Lower Hauterivian of southern 
Chile. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I thank Drs M. A. Cluver and H. C. Klinger for access to the collections of 
the South African Museum, Mr W. Holleman for allowing me to study the col- 
lections of the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, and Mr Barney Newman for 
assistance with the collections of the Port Elizabeth Museum. Drs E. Perez 
d'Angelo (Santiago) and M. Tashiro (Kochi) critically reviewed the manuscript, 
for which I am grateful, and Betsie Greyling provided general assistance. 

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LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA FROM THE ALGOA BASIN 49 

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Nuculana (Lembulus) bicuspidata (Gould, 1845) 

Figs 14-15A 
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Name of new genus or species is not to be included in the title; it should be included in the abstract, 

counter to Recommendation 23 of the Code, to meet the requirements of Biological Abstracts. 



MICHAEL R. COOPER 

LOWER CRETACEOUS TRIGONIOIDA 

(MOLLUSCA, BIVALVIA) FROM THE ALGOA 

BASIN, WITH A REVISED CLASSIFICATION 

OF THE ORDER 



^3Z 
VOLUME 100 PART 2 



MAY 1992 



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JUL 2 1 1992 

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should be left to editor and publisher. 

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caption); the reduction or enlargement required should be indicated (and preferably uniform); orig- 
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The number of the figure should be lightly marked in pencil on the back of each illustration. 

5. REFERENCES cited in text and synonymies should all be included in the list at the end of the 
paper, using the Harvard System (ibid., idem, loc. cit., op. cit. are not acceptable): 

(a) Author's name and year of publication given in text, e.g.: 

'Smith (1969) describes 

'Smith (1969: 36, fig. 16) describes 

'As described (Smith 1969a, 1969b; Jones 1971)' 

'As described (Haughton & Broom 1927) . . .' 

'As described (Haughton et al. 1927) 

Note: no comma separating name and year 

pagination indicated by colon, not p. 

names of joint authors connected by ampersand 

et al. in text for more than two joint authors, but names of all authors given in list of references. 

(b) Full references at the end of the paper, arranged alphabetically by names, chronologically within 
each name, with suffixes a, b, etc., to the year for more than one paper by the same author in 
that year, e.g. Smith (1969a, 19696) and not Smith (1969, 1969o). 

For books give title in italics, edition, volume number, place of publication, publisher. 

For journal article give title of article, title of journal in italics (according to the World list of scientific periodicals . 4th ed. 
London: Butterworths, 1963), series in parentheses, volume number, part number in parentheses, pagination (first and 
last pages of article). 

Examples (note capitalization and punctuation) 

Bullough, W. S. 1960. Practical invertebrate anatomy. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan. 

Fischer, P. H. 1948. Donnees sur la resistance et de la vitalite des mollusques. Journal de conchy liologie 88 (3): 100-140. 

Fischer, P. H., Duval, M. & Raffy, A. 1933. Etudes sur les echanges respiratoires des littorines. Archives de zoologie 

experimentale et generate 74 (33): 627-634. 
Kohn, A. J. 1960a. Ecological notes on Conus (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in the Trincomalee region of Ceylon. Annals and 

Magazine of Natural History (13) 2 (17): 309-320. 
Kohn, A. J. 19606. Spawning behaviour, egg masses and larval development in Conus from the Indian Ocean. Bulletin of 

the Bingham Oceanographic Collection, Yale University 17 (4): 1-51. 
Thiele, J. 1910. Mollusca. B. Polyplacophora, Gastropoda marina, Bivalvia. In: Schultze, L. Zoologische und anthro- 

pologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Siid-Afrika ausgefuhrt in den Jahren 

1903-1905 4 (15). Denkschriften der medizinisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena 16: 269-270. 

(continued inside back cover) 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 
ANNALE VAN DIE SUID-AFRIKAANSE MUSEUM 



Volume 100 Band 
May 1992 Mei 
Part 2 Deel 




THE BASKETWORK OF 

SOUTHERN AFRICA 

PART I 

TECHNOLOGY 

By 
E. M. SHAW 



Cape Town 



Kaapstad 



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D839 



THE BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 

PART 1 
TECHNOLOGY 

By 

E. M. Shaw 
Department of Ethnography, South African Museum, Cape Town 

(With 110 figures and 1 table) 

[MS accepted 30 September 1988] 



ABSTRACT 

This account of the indigenous basketwork of southern Africa is the result of some years of 
study of basketwork specimens in collections in southern Africa and overseas, and of investi- 
gation in the field. The literature has been searched and records have been made of some 2 500 
specimens, and of information gained in the field. 

The study is confined to southern Africa, that is, Africa south of the line made by the 
Cunene, Okavango and Zambesi rivers. There are several modern political divisions within the 
area, but they are only indirectly relevant to the study. 

Part 1 is a study of the techniques and materials that have been recorded throughout the 
area. The objects made, their names when these are known, the techniques and materials that 
are used, and the division between the sexes in the type of object made, will be studied ethno- 
graphically in subsequent parts. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction 54 

Technology 55 

Fabric 55 

Beginnings 87 

Shaping 102 

Edges 106 

Finishings 139 

Decoration 146 

Ornamentation 164 

Shapes 168 

Tools 181 

Materials 183 

Dyes 202 

Conclusion 208 

Acknowledgements 208 

References 209 

Glossary 210 

Appendix 1 : Summary and index of basketwork techniques 214 

Appendix 2: Summary and index of materials used in basketwork 246 

Appendix 3: 247 

53 
Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 100 (2), 1992, 53-248, 110 figs, 1 table. 



54 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

INTRODUCTION 

The account does not claim by any means to be exhaustive. For one thing 
the coverage is very uneven. For another, as was made clear by visits to overseas 
museums where the collections tend to be older, many styles have died out and 
the account is, therefore, likely to be inadequate with regard to the earlier types 
of basketwork used in southern Africa and, most of all, in any attempt to indi- 
cate the styles brought into the sub-continent by the various peoples when they 
first arrived. The gaps are, however, likely to be more numerous in subsequent 
parts — the sections on ethnography — than in Part 1 on technology, because the 
number of techniques, though extensive, is not unlimited, and many of them are 
found consistently enough to seem to form a basic pattern. 

The term basketwork is taken here to include all such objects as are made 
by the interlacing of two or more sets of elements, usually both flexible, and in 
addition, plaiting which interlaces only one set. It is differentiated from netting 
and knitting by the use, except in plaiting, of more than one set of elements, and 
from other weaving by the use of coarse and unspun material and the absence of 
a loom. 

In southern Africa, the number of objects to be included under basketwork 
as defined above is very large and varied. Besides actual baskets, there are mats 
for several purposes, hut-doors, hut-walls, roof-frames, fences, sledges, traps, 
grain-bins, strainers, spoons, trays, hats, bags and personal clothing and orna- 
ments. These are not all made everywhere. Their distribution belongs to 
ethnography rather than technology, and will be considered under the headings 
of the peoples by whom they are made. There may be some surprise at some of 
the work included, but a close consideration of the technique will, it is sug- 
gested, justify the decision that it was reasonable to include the use of 
basketwork techniques in objects other than baskets. 

There are certain qualities to basketwork that are probably responsible for 
the wideness of its use, and for the strength of its resistance to ready-made 
store-goods. It is usually light to carry and does not add greatly to the weight of 
its load; it is light for wear as hats or ornaments; and it is light and airy for 
roofing. It can be made close enough to hold liquids or open enough to strain 
them. It allows great variety of size and shape, from small bags to hold a snuff- 
box or pipe, to large grain-bins to hold part of the season's harvest. By its tough- 
ness and, in some cases, flexibility, it is durable, wears slowly, and does not 
break if dropped. It is in no danger, when being made, of being ruined at the 
last moment, like pottery by bad firing, or woodwork by an unfortunate cut of 
the knife. Lastly, except in actual desert, it is hard to imagine a stretch of 
country that would not furnish at least some suitable materials, however 
sparsely, so that, given the knowledge of making, it would be available to all. 

Latterly, however, and with increasing speed since this study was com- 
menced, other containers, mainly plastic, with similar useful qualities, have 
become available, and the practice of basketwork has declined. The young 
people are not interested' say the mothers and grandmothers. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 55 

On the other hand, an even more recent trend, is the very widespread 
desire among industrial societies for hand-made articles, which has stimulated 
the growth of home industries where baskets are made not for use but for sale. 

The extent to which this particular cultural trait can, at this stage, be 
expected to show relationships, other than those of recent proximity, between 
the various groups of people, or their former movements, is limited by present- 
day ease of movement of individuals, and by the increasing rate of change in the 
old societies. Nevertheless, basketwork is a conservative craft and some indica- 
tions of these things can be seen. 

TECHNOLOGY 

In basketwork there are two main techniques, which may be called woven 
and sewn, and these differ according to the way in which the elements are put 
together. In woven work the sets of elements are interlaced by crossing over and 
under each other. Plaiting is included here because the interlacing is essentially 
the same, although with only one set of elements. In sewn work one set of 
elements is sewn together by the other. 

Attempts have been made (summarized by Balfet 1952 and translation 
1957) to cut across these two simple categories so as to class the warps of woven 
work and the foundation of sewn work together as the passive elements or 'stan- 
dards' {'montants') and the wefts of woven work and the sewing strand of sewn 
work as the active elements or 'threads' ('fr/ms'). While one follows the logic, 
this seems to me to remove the classification from the reality of how the work is 
done, the technique in fact. Accordingly, each of the techniques classified here 
relates back to one or other of the two major techniques, woven or sewn. As far 
as possible vernacular terms — whether European or African — for a particular 
technique, have been avoided in favour of descriptive terms. 

Only those techniques recorded so far in southern Africa are described 
below. 

FABRIC 

The following are the techniques of the body of the work. The descriptions 
are given as viewed by the maker, who generally works from left to right with 
the outside of the work towards the body, except when making shallow baskets 
in which the inside is the side seen. 

WOVEN 

Woven work may be flat, cylindrical or ascending. The two sets of elements 
are, by analogy with weaving, called warps and wefts, the warps being the 
straight, sometimes taut, passive elements, whether vertical or horizontal, and 
the wefts those elements that are woven across the warps. The same techniques 
can be used whether the work is flat, cylindrical or ascending and the main dif- 
ferences in technique are in the way the wefts proceed to cross the warps. 



56 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Check or chequer 

This is the simplest form of all, in which the warps and wefts pass over and 
under each other singly, as in darning or plain woven cloth. In many cases, both 
are the same width and thickness, which gives the true close chequer effect. The 
work is usually straight {la, Figs 1A, 2) but a few examples of pouches were 
seen in which it proceeded diagonally {lb, Fig. IB). The chequer stitch may also 
be used at wide intervals in mat-making. This is called open chequer (7c, 
Fig. 1C). Chequer weave has a great variety of uses but, although widespread in 
southern Africa, is less commonly used than some other weaves. 

Twilled 

Each element passes over and under two or more of those of the other set, 
but in each successive row the element goes under one element further on. This 
gives a herringbone effect (Fig. 3). By varying the number passed over, and by 
introducing a different colour or width of element into one set, an endless 
variety of decorative effects can be produced. The work may be straight {2a, 
Fig. 3 A) or diagonal {2b, Figs 3B, 4). Twilled weave is very common in south- 
ern Africa. Its most frequent use is for winnowing trays {straight) in the 
northern and central regions, where the elements are thin, flat strips of wood or 
reed, and for beer-strainers (see Fig. 107) and pouches {diagonal) among the 
eastern people of the coastal palm-belt, where the elements are strips of 
palm-leaf. 

Wrapped 

Very flexible wefts are wrapped once right round each warp in passing. 
Plain wrapped weave {3, Figs 5, 6) has been seen on a variety of objects but 
is very uncommon in southern Africa. 

Twined 

In each row two or more wefts pass alternately one in front of and one 
behind each warp, taking a half-twist round each other between the warps. A 
warp may consist of one strand or two taken together, or of a bundle of strands; 
it may thus be described as single, double or multiple warp. This is the common- 
est variety of the woven technique in southern Africa and, in addition to 
forming the main fabric, it is often used ornamentally or as a strong edging. Its 
distribution shows, however, that it is favoured particularly by the south-eastern 
people, the Nguni and Tsonga, and those who have been in contact with them. 
Several styles are known. 

Plain, (i) Close. When only two wefts are twined at a time and the warps are 
straight and the rows of weft are placed immediately next to each other. Warps 
may be single {4a, Fig. 7 A) or multiple {4b, Fig. 8). (ii) Open. In which the 
rows of twining are separated so that the warps, which are generally single, are 
left uncovered for a certain space. Warps may be single {4c, Fig. 7B) or multiple 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



57 




Fig. 1. A. Straight close chequer weave, la. B. Diagonal close chequer weave, lb. C. Open 
chequer weave with twined edge, 1c. 



58 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 2. Straight close chequer weave basket of palm-leaf; reinforced 

selvedge and additional ornamental reinforcement; stiff handle. 

Ambo, Odibo, Ovambo, 1940 (SAM-6126). Height 205 mm. 

(4d, Fig. 7C). (iii) Chain. Plain close twine in which the direction of twine is 
reversed at each row, thereby making a chain-stitch effect over the whole fabric. 
The warp may be single (4e) or multiple (4f, Fig. 7D). 

Twilled. Close twine in which the wefts go over and under two warps but in 
each successive row move one warp further on to make a twilled effect (4g, 
Fig. 7E). The warps may be single or multiple. Only one example was seen. 

Split warp. A double or multiple warp may be divided after each row of the 
twining and the two sections joined to sections from the adjoining warps for the 
next row of twining. There seem to be two ways of doing this, (i) Zigzag. When 
the warp is divided equally and the two sections, together in one row, part to 
right and left in the next, and come together again in the third row, in such a 
way that each section follows a vertical zigzag line. The weaving may be close 
(4h, Fig. 9A, B) — with the twining rows next to each other, or open (4i, 
Fig. 9C) — with twining rows at wide intervals, (ii) Diagonal. When the left 
section of the warp goes off to the left, but the right section remains vertical and 
receives the left of the adjoining warp; then having become the left section 
itself, goes off to the left to rejoin its former mate, so that each warp section 
follows a stepped diagonal line across the work. The weaving may be close (4j, 
Figs 9D, E, 10), or open (4k) and the warps equally or unequally divided. When 
the weaving is close, the difference between zigzag and diagonal split-warp 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



59 




U^A 



rnmrnn 



T iraif= 



i*iu±± 



t -\M-- ■ ■'■" 




Fig. 3. A. Straight twilled weave, 2a. B. Diagonal twilled weave, 2b. 



60 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



WBT 


^5^ 


X'X" 






1- '-> *N >%^|-"- 






#; 


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'•'/•'XV) 




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Fig. 4. Diagonal twilled weave basket of wood slivers, shaped by moulding and holding edges 

between hoops; coloured decoration with dyed elements of same material. Venda, Louis 

Trichardt, 1962 (SAM- 12084). Height 289 mm. 




Fig. 5. Plain wrapped weave, inner and outer appearance, 3a. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



61 




Fig. 6. Plain wrapped weave bird cage of withies and bark strands, shaped 
by tension. Ambo, Odibo, Ovambo, 1940 (SAM-6176). Height 430 mm. 

twining can scarcely be seen on the finished surface of the object unless, as has 
been recorded in the Transkei in the diagonal style, the warp is divided 
unequally (41, Fig. 9F), which gives a twilled appearance. The difference may be 
very noticeable in this case when the warp consists of a bundle of grass, and only 
a small section is carried to the left each time. This can give the superficial 
appearance of a diagonal strand having been run through the work afterwards. 
Split-warp twine seems to have been characteristic of the eastern Southern Nguni 
and the southern Transvaal Ndebele. Latterly the technique has been seen a 
little in the western Transkei. 

Lattice. When there is a horizontal as well as a vertical set of warps, single 
(4 m) or (Figs 9G, H, 11) double (4 n), and one or more wefts that twine at the 
crossings of the warps. This technique, with all flexible elements, is very rare. 



Wickerwork 

Wickerwork is distinguished by the fact that the warps are rigid whereas the 
flexible wefts bend in and out. The weave may be chequer, wrapped or twined. 



62 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN. MUSEUM 




B 






""l'^'^'' rf 0""#''"i» , ''0" -, 0''"0' , ''0""^''"^'^''"* 



Fig. 7. A. Close plain twined weave, single warp, 4a. B. Open plain twined weave, single 
warp, 4c. C. Open plain twined weave, multiple warp, 4d. D. Plain chain twined weave, mul- 
tiple warp, 4f. E. Twilled twined weave, single warp, 4g. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



63 




Fig. 8. Food-mat of close plain twined weave, multiple grass warp, sedge weft; scalloped sel- 
vedge; looped warp beginning; added warps for shaping; decoration — same material dyed. 
Mpondo, Mevana, Libode, 1969 (SAM-9564). Diameter 330 mm. 



Twilled wickerwork has not been recorded in southern Africa. By its nature 
wickerwork is suited to heavy articles, such as hut doors and traps, but it is also 
used in lighter form for baskets and fish traps. It is therefore widely distributed. 
It is not very common, however, and for actual baskets is seldom used except by 
the Shona peoples of the north-east and the southern Tsonga of Mozambique. 
(The wicker influence seems to come from the north-east.) 
The following varieties have been recorded: 

Chequer. Plain straight chequer (5a, Figs 12A, 13) is the most common 
variety recorded. 

Wrapped, (i) Plain (5b); (ii) Lattice wrapped with one (5c) or two (5g) lat- 
tices, is a second, more common variety in which there is a horizontal as well as 
a vertical set of warps, one or both of which is generally rigid, and the weft is 
wrapped round the crossing of the two warps. As far as recorded, in southern 



64 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 






B 






v^ 




E H 

Fig. 9. A-B. Close zigzag split-warp twined weave, double warp, 4h. C. Open zigzag split- 
warp twined weave, double warp, 4i. D-E. Close diagonal split warp twined weave, double or 
multiple warp, 4j. F. Diagonal split-warp twined weave, multiple warp unequally divided, 41. 
G-H. Three-strand lattice twined weave, single lattice, outer and inner appearance, 4m. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



65 







Ws& "\ '* 


™ p 







Fig. 10. Basket of close diagonal split-warp twine; multiple warp; both elements of sedge; dec- 
orative band of plain twine, one of the strands same material dyed; scalloped selvedge. 
Mpondomise, Tshixo, Tsolo, 1969 (SAM-9579). Height 365 mm. 

Africa at least, the vertical set of warps is straight and the horizontal set may be 
single (5c) or double (5g), one on each side of the upright. In the latter case the 
wrapping may enclose a row of plain twine (5/?, Fig. 12F). In chain lattice 
wrapped the wrapping strand is hitched in loops that make a chain stitch effect. 
It has been seen with one lattice (5d, Fig. 12B, C). In figure-of-eight lattice 
wrapped, the wrapping strand makes a figure-of-eight (5e, Fig. 12D); and in 
hitched lattice wrap the weft, after wrapping and emerging to the front, hitches 
under the stroke below before proceeding, thereby holding the lattice (5/). This 
was seen among the Ndau with a circular grass lattice and gave the impression of 
sewn coiled work, but there is no stitching. 

Twined, (i) Plain twine, close or open (5i and 5j). (ii) Lattice twine, with 
one lattice and one or more twining strands (5k, 51, Fig. 14). (iii) Lattice twine, 
with two lattices and one or more twining strands (5m, Fig. 12E; 5n). 
(iv) A combination of (i) and (iii) in which a row of double lattice wrap is placed 
over a row of plain twine (5o, Fig. 12F). 



Wattlework 

This is a form of wickerwork in which the warps are stakes that are planted 
in the ground or in a heavy base. It is used for fencing and for the framework of 



66 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 11. Basket of lattice twine, single lattice, all elements palm-leaf; reinforced selvedge. 
Ambo, Odibo, Ovambo, 1940 (SAM-6129). Height 205 mm. 



huts and sledges, and is found for these purposes over most of southern Africa. 
In wattlework the varieties so far found are chequer (6a), plain lattice wrapped, 
with one or two lattices (6b, 6c, Fig. 15), hitched lattice wrapped (6d) (when the 
strand takes a turn round itself at each crossing), figure-of-eight lattice wrapped 
(6e), and varieties of lattice twine (6f-6k). Lattice wrapped wattlework is used 
on hut walls in the north and east, and there may be two sets of horizontal lat- 
tices holding one set of vertical warps, or two sets of vertical warps with one set 
of horizontal lattices between them. The latter demands a different way of wrap- 
ping the weft, which takes a figure-of-eight instead of a simple course. 

Plaiting 

Plaiting is the process by which three or more strands of a single set of ele- 
ments are interlaced to form a flat, round or square braid. It is used mostly for 
ornaments or hanging loops for articles and for decorating other basketwork, 
and is found mainly in the east and south. There are several sorts of plaiting: 

Simple plaiting (7a, 7b, Fig. 16A, B). When three or more strands are 
interlaced in a diagonal chequer weave to form a flat braid. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



67 




iswEi> 




° 




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<^ 




<£3 




IG 




fZ 




jC 




/ 








c^ 



] 




d 






1 




! 


il 




. 





^fefe 




Fig. 12. A. Chequer wickerwork, 5a. B-C. Chain lattice wrapped wickerwork, single lattice. 

5d. D. Figure-of-eight lattice wrapped wickerwork, lattice between two sets of warps, 5e. 

E. Double lattice one strand twined wickerwork, 5m. F. Double lattice wickerwork. one 

strand twine over plain twine. 5o. 



68 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 13. Basket of chequer wicker weave, warp wood slivers, weft split creeper stems; stapled 
edge. Mari, Chibi, Zimbabwe, 1963 (SAM-8952). Height 176 mm. 

Extended plaiting {7c, 7d, 7e, 7f, 7g). When a simple plait of three, four or 
more strands is continued in a flat or ascending coil to make a fabric. Each 
round of the coiling is joined to the next by bringing in a new strand at the 
beginning of each plaiting movement in the first round (and later at intervals to 
increase the size), and letting it continue in the braid, while the strand whose 
place it is taking goes out at the end of the movement, and in the next round is 
picked up as a new strand. The two adjoining rounds may be drawn close (7c, 
Fig. 16C), or an open space may be left between them (7d, Fig. 16D, E). A dif- 
ferent appearance may be given to the latter by tightening the strands unevenly 
(7e) but, in the only instance recorded, the decorative effect was on the wrong 
side and not exploited as decoration. The same varieties of plait may be used 
with more than three strands (7f, 7g, Fig. 16F). 

Twilled plaiting (7h, Fig. 17A). Similar to simple plaiting, but the strands 
go over and under two or more strands instead of one. 

Multiple plaiting (7i, 7j). A flat braid formed of any number of strands 
divided into groups. Each strand is treated singly at the edge, but the groups are 
interwoven as a so-many-strand plait. If the groups of the strands cross at the 
centre a plain plaited effect is obtained (7i, Fig. 17B). By having an unequal 
number in the groups they can be made to cross at the edges and a zigzag effect 
is obtained (7/). 

Herringbone (7k, Fig 17C). A flat braid formed of any number of strands 
divided into two groups which start in opposite directions. Each strand is treated 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



69 




Fig. 14. Fish trap of open lattice twined wickerwork, 51, warps and lattices withies, two wefts 
of bark; shaped by tension; to finish, warps gathered into a bound bundle, held by figure-of- 
eight seizing. Ambo, Odibo, Ovambo, 1940 (SAM-6124). Height 710 mm. 



singly at the edge, and goes under the opposite strand at the centre. This pro- 
duces a herringbone effect. 

Open (71). A flat braid formed from a number of strands which instead of 
crossing at the centre, plait only at the edge, which gives the appearance of one 
group always on top and the other underneath. 

Angular, (i) A flat braid in which the elements are interlaced only at the 
edges where they turn at a sharp angle to make an angular product, in a manner 
best indicated by the figure (7m, Fig. 17D). (ii) A rounded braid in which the 
elements are interlaced in a regular but uneven rhythm and take a sharp turn at 
each side (7n, Fig. 17E). 

Round (7o, Fig. 17F). Four strands are plaited simply to make a round 
braid. Those on the left go under two to the right and over one to the left, 
whereas those on the right go under two to the left and over one to the right. 



70 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



E^MljM 




Fig. 15. Sledge of plain lattice wrapped wattlework, single strand, warps and lattices withies, 
wefts bark. Ndebele. near Empandeni, Zimbabwe. 1967. (Mrs Masuku standing.) Height 

c. 1 780 mm. 

Square (7p, 7q, Fig. 17G, H). Seven or more strands are plaited simply, to 
make a square (four edged) braid, each side of which looks like a simple three- 
strand plait. 

Hitched (7r, Fig. 171). Each of a number of strands, usually four, is hitched 
round a central strand, proceeding in turn for the desired length to make a 
round cord. 

Three- or more strand spiral (7s, 7t). Three or more strands are plaited 
across and surrounding a central strand to make a round plait with a spiral twist 
and ridge. 

SEWN 

In sewn work the two sets of interlacing elements may be called the foun- 
dation and the sewing, and the major division is according to whether the 
foundation is straight or coiled. Each division has further varieties, according to 
the type of foundation and, in coiled work, the manner of sewing as well. 

Straight foundation: flat or cylindrical 

In straight work a number of separate foundation strands is laid side by side 
longitudinally and the sewing strand, which joins them together, passes through 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



71 




B 







Fig. 16. A. Three-strand simple plait, 7a. B. Many-strand simple plait, 7b. C. Four-strand 

close extended plait, 7c. D-E. Outer and inner appearance four-strand open extended plait. 

strands tightened unevenly, 7d. F. Many-strand open extended plait, 7g. 



72 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





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BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



73 



I I 




Fig. 18. A. Straight sewing, single foundation, 8. B. Straight sewing through each twist of a 
two-ply twisted cord foundation, 9a. C. Straight sewing through each twist of a three-ply 

twisted cord foundation, 9c. 



74 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 19. Straight sewn cylindrical beer-strainer, foundation of three-ply cords of twisted sedge; 
sewing sedge, edge fringed above knots. Mpondomise, Tsolo, Transkei, 1936 (SAM-5564). 

Length 521 mm. 

them horizontally at intervals. The work may be flat or cylindrical. When the 
work is flat, the sewing strand may cross it only once and then be fastened off, or 
may turn back and re-cross it once or several times, according to the width of 
the fabric. When the work is cylindrical, the sewing strand travels in a continu- 
ous spiral. It is possible to join the straight foundation strands by oversewing, 
but this technique does not commonly occur in southern Africa. One poorly 
authenticated example was seen. 

There are two sorts of straight foundation: 

Single. When the foundation strands are single and simple. Very commonly 
smooth sedge stems (8, Fig. 18A) are used, but in Zimbabwe split and flattened 
reed stems are used. This is only known in flat work. It is a common technique 
for sleeping-mats and is widely distributed. 

Composite. When each foundation strand is composed of a number of 
twisted elements. These may be two- or three-ply twisted cords, between the 
strands of which the sewing strand, which may also be twisted, passes. Only cyl- 
indrical work is known. When two-ply cord is used for the foundation the sewing 
strand passes over one and under one strand, generally through each twist of the 
cord (9a, Fig. 18B), although in examples from the Transvaal Tsonga it only 
passes through every fourth or fifth twist (9b). When three-ply cord is used the 
sewing strand passes through each twist of the cord, under two and over one 
strand (9c, Figs 18C, 19). This technique is used for one of the two most 
common sorts of beer-strainer made in this country. 

Coiled foundation 

Coiled work is circular and may be flat or ascending. A continuous foun- 
dation is sewn together in a flat or an ascending coil and, in all but the two sorts 
of flat work seen, the sewing strand passes right round the new coil foundation 
at each stitch. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



75 



B 





D \ 





Fig. 20. A-B. Straight sewing through flat coiled plaited foundation. 10a. C. D, E. Tacking 
through flat coiled plaited foundation, 10b. 



76 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





B 







Fig. 21. A. Simple oversewing over simple coil foundation, 11a. B. Simple oversewing over 
one coil of multiple coil foundation, lib. C-D. Corded oversewing over simple coil foun- 
dation, diagram and finished effect, 12a. E. Plain beeskep oversewing over multiple coil 
foundation, 17a. F. Diagonal beeskep oversewing over multiple coil foundation, 17b. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



77 





Fig. 22. A. Basket, simple oversewing over one coil of multiple foundation; chequer square 
start; triple oversewn edge; foundation grass, sewing palm. Zulu, Eshowe, Natal, 1961 
(SAM-8397). Diameter 210 mm. B. Basket, corded oversewing over two coils of multiple 
foundation; diagonal oversewn edge; foundation grass, sewing twisted sedge. Kgatla, Mochudi, 
Botswana, 1933 (SAM-4799). Diameter 400 mm. 



78 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 23. Grain-bin, diagonal beeskep sewing over one coil of multiple foundation; foundation 
grass, sewing plaited grass. South Sotho, HaSouru, Lesotho, 1978. Height c. 1 200 mm. 



Coiled foundation: flat 

This is only known with a single composite foundation of plaited grass. The 
plaits are laid face to face and joined in one of two ways: (a) By sewing right 
through as in straight sewn work. The use of this technique has only been 
recorded for personal ornaments of the south-eastern area and Lesotho (10a, 
Fig. 20A, B). (b) By tacking with a running stitch that passes only through the 
new coil and the one before, a stitch which seems to be of recent origin, prob- 
ably in Zululand, and is becoming increasingly used, especially for floor mats 
(10b, Fig. 20C-E). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



79 



B ^ 




7 FT 



M 







Fig. 24. A-C. Stages in ribbed beeskep oversewing over multiple coil foundation. 17c. 

D. Basket, ribbed beeskep sewing over multiple foundation; neck simple oversewing with 

decoration of columns of lengthened stitches over two coils; foundation and sewing palm-leaf. 

Natal, isichuma, (British Museum 337a). Height c. 170 mm. 



80 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



1^ 



15 



I 





BHRHHU 




B 




Fig. 25. A. Close interlock sewing over simple coil foundation, 13a. B. Close interlock sewing 
over multiple coil foundation, piercing foundation, 13c. C. Close interlock sewing over mul- 
tiple coil foundation, round two coils, 13d. D-E. Open interlock sewing over multiple 
foundation, stitch passing between the coils, 13g. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 81 




Fig. 26. Basket, close interlock sewing over two coils, single foundation; foundation root 
stem, sewing split root stem; herringbone edge. Lobedu, Duiwelskloof, Transvaal, 1936 

(UCT 38/70). Diameter 341 mm. 

Coiled foundation: ascending 

The ascending oversewn coiled work is probably the most widespread bas- 
ketwork technique in southern Africa and it would seem to be the main 
technique for all except the Shona, who use wickerwork, and the Southern 
Nguni, most of whom nowadays use split warp twine. The varieties of the work 
may be differentiated according both to the foundation and the sewing. In 
southern Africa only two sorts of ascending coiled foundation have been 
noted — a simple foundation, consisting of a single rod, and a multiple foun- 
dation, consisting of numerous thin strands or even a soft plaited element. There 
are several methods of oversewing. To a certain extent they depend on the type 
of foundation used. In each method of oversewing the stitches may be close 
together so that the sewing covers the whole foundation, or widely spaced so as 
to show the foundation. Many different effects can thus be produced by using 
essentially the same technique. The sewing strand may be flat, single or mul- 
tiple, twisted or a plaited strand, and this too produces different effects with the 
same way of sewing, but some of the stitches limit the choice of strand. It should 
be noted that most workers in most areas proceed from left to right and the fol- 
lowing descriptions are based on this fact, but it should be borne in mind that 
some do work from right to left. Whether the worker faces the right or the 
wrong side of the work is a matter of convenience and depends on the object 
being made. 

The following methods of sewing and the foundations on which they are 
used have been recorded: 

On simple or multiple foundation 

Simple oversewing: each stitch, coming out at the back of the work. i.e. 
away from the worker, passes over the new portion of the foundation slightly 



82 

A 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 






Fig. 27. A. Openwork sewing over multiple foundation, 14b. B-C. Knot stitch over simple 
coil foundation; outer and inner appearance, 15a. D. Knot stitch over multiple foundation, 

15b. 

diagonally, goes in at the front ahead of the stitch below, i.e. in the direction the 
work is proceeding, and passes straight under or through the previous coil. This 
is perhaps the most widely used of all the sewn techniques. 

When a simple foundation of a single rod (11a, Fig. 21 A), generally the 
pliable stem of a creeper or a root, is used, the sewing must of necessity pass 
round the previous coil since it cannot pierce it. This technique is used mainly in 
the eastern Transvaal and Mozambique. 

If the simple foundation is soft, or when the foundation is multiple and con- 
sists of a bundle of thin strands of, for example, grass or shredded palm-leaf, the 
sewing, after passing round the new coil, pierces only a small portion of the top 
of the last coil (lib, Figs 21B, 22A). This latter is by far the more common type 
of foundation of the two in southern Africa. Sometimes, however, the stitch 
passes right round the last coil as well as the new (lie), and the effect is then the 
same as when a single rod foundation is used. 

Simple oversewing gives no special decorative effect to the finished surface, 
whether closely or openly worked. 

Corded. When the stitching is markedly diagonal and the stitch is put in 
ahead of or behind (i.e. either to right or left) the one below it and goes straight 
through to the back without interlocking and when a thick or twisted sewing 
strand is used, a vertical corded effect is obtained that is often exploited for dec- 
oration. The foundation may be simple (12a, Fig. 21C, D), in which case the 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



83 




Fig. 28. Basket, openwork sewing with palm-leaf over multiple foundation of 

palm-leaf; no edging, herring-bone finish. Ndebele, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 1939 

(SAM-5998). Height 77 mm. 



sewing is over two coils, or multiple, where the stitch may go over one (12b) or 
two coils (12c, Fig. 22B), and for purely decorative purposes over more. The 
sewing may be close or widely spaced. This technique seems to be favoured 
especially by Natal Nguni, Central Sotho, Venda and Tswana. 

Interlock. When the new stitch is brought straight over the new coil and 
passes diagonally through the loop of the stitch below. On a simple foundation it 
must also go round the coil below (13a, Figs 25 A, 26). The sewing may be close 
or open (13b). On a multiple foundation the stitch generally, but not always, 
pierces the top of the foundation below (13c, Fig. 25B) but it may go round 
it (13d, Fig. 25C). On either foundation it may go between the two coils (13g, 
Fig. 25D, E). Open stitching of this sort gives the effect of a series of diagonal 
lines across the work; close stitching gives a checked effect of stitches and spaces 
alternating in adjoining coils. This technique was rarely found. 

Openwork (14a, 14b, Figs 27A, 28). When the sewing strand, after passing 
round or through the top of the preceding coil, is wound round the new coil 
once or several times between stitches. The stitches and the windings are gener- 
ally regulated to make a pattern. This would seem to be an introduced stitch, 
though the Zimbabwe Ndebele deny this, and claim that it is the first stitch 
taught to children, which may be, but several generations have passed. 

Knotstitch (15a, 15b, Fig. 27B-D). In this method, the sewing passes round 
both coils, but breaks its journey up the back to come out to the front between 
the two coils — either to the left or to the right of itself depending on whether 
the work is from the left or the right — crosses over its own last stitch and goes 
through to the back again to continue diagonally its journey upwards. The work 
is done closely and gives the appearance of a row of knots between the coils. 



84 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




B 










Fig. 29. A-B. Inner and outer appearance of three-strand sewing over multiple coil foun- 
dation, 16b. C. Close furcate split-stitch oversewing on multiple coil foundation, 18a. 
D-E. Close furcate sewing, twice into one hole, on multiple coil foundation, 18c. F-G. Outer 
and inner appearance of open split-stitch furcate sewing on multiple coil foundation, 18d. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 85 




Fig. 30. Basket, close furcate sewing with sedge, over multiple foundation of grass or stripped 
sedge, twice into one hole. (Lid is of hide.) ?Lesotho, early twentieth century (SAM-6536). 

Height 153 mm. 



Often, however, an extra encircling of the foundation of the new coil separates 
the knots. This does not seem to be a southern African technique and was prob- 
ably first taught in schools, as it still is. 

Three-strand. Oversewing done diagonally with three separate strands, each 
stitch of each strand missing two stitches of the previous coil. In the only 
example recorded, a Southern Sotho hat (SAM-2261), the sewing is interlocked 
and over a multiple coil (16b, Fig. 29 A, B). 

On a multiple foundation only 

Beeskep. The stitches are like simple or corded oversewing, but widely 
spaced with each stitch placed just behind (17a, Fig. 21E), or just in front of, 
the stitch of the coil below (17b, Figs 21F, 23). The effect of the latter is often of 
radial lines on the fabric. Comparatively few examples have been recorded, 
from widespread localities, and only with a multiple foundation. The technique 
may not be indigenous. A variety seen on a basket from Natal (an isolated 
example) has the stitch coming out and going over an external semi-circular rib 
of grass before going in again (17c, Fig. 24A-D). 

Furcate sewing. When the new stitch splits the stitch below it of the pre- 
ceding coil, (18a, Figs 29C, 30) or when the successive stitch is sewn into the 
same hole (18c, Fig. 29D, E), it gives a forked effect. This is often done 
inadvertently in simple oversewing, but when done systematically a vertical 
chain-stitch effect is produced, which is the more marked when the stitches are 
widely spaced (18d, Fig. 29F, G). Closely sewn modern work is not very 



86 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 31. A. Plain cross-stitch sewing on multiple foundation, 19a. B-C. Outer and inner 
appearance of interlock cross-stitch sewing on multiple foundation, 19b. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 87 

remarkable, but on some old examples of Xhosa and Thembu baskets, of a type 
no longer made, the work is so fine as almost to look like another technique 
(Fig. 29E). This latter has not been recorded from any other area in southern 
Africa. 

Cross-stitch. When the sewing strand is so stitched as to form a plain cross- 
stitch or herring-bone effect, the same on both sides. The stitch passes diag- 
onally forward over to the front from the last stitch, through straight between 
the coil from front to back, returns diagonally over to the front, crossing its first 
stitch, through the previous coil and first part of the stitch below from front to 
back, and diagonally forward to commence the next stitch (19a, Fig. 31A). In a 
variety of this the sewing strand passes through the old coil and interlocks with 
the stitch below in its first wrapping, and either round or through the new coil in 
its second wrapping. This gives a rather different effect and is different on each 
side (19b, Fig. 31B, C). This has been seen only on baskets from Ovambo and it 
too may have been introduced, possibly by the Finnish missions. 

BEGINNINGS 

Beginnings are to a certain extent influenced by the eventual shape of the 
object. 

FLAT AND STRAIGHT WORK 

Woven or sewn 

The manner of beginning scarcely needs description. In twined or wrapped 
woven work or in straight sewn work, the warps or foundation strands that are 
to be used are laid out first and joined together by the first row of weft or 
sewing. The weft strand may start with a knot (20a) or be doubled over in a loop 
(20b). The latter may start several foundation strands from the edge, go to the 
edge, and then turn back (20c, Fig. 32). A sewing strand starts with a knot. 

This is the way of beginning mats and also some brooms, where small 
bundles of the grass are taken separately, bent over for about 25 mm at the root 
end (which is to be the handle) and held so by twining, each bundle being added 
on separately until a long fringe of grass is formed, held by one twined row. The 
fringe is then rolled to form a broom. In the case of sleeping-mats, the first row 
of weft or sewing is generally at one edge but certain practitioners were seen to 
start at the centre of the mat. 

In the isolated instance of the Northern Nguni skimming spoons (Fig. 106), 
the midrib of a palm foliole is bent at its centre to form the bowl and held in 
shape by twining. 

In all other flat woven techniques except plaiting, the work is generally 
started at one corner with one warp and one weft, and others are added alter- 
nately (21). A Tsonga maker of twilled winnowing baskets, however, first 
twined six warps together for the start, in a corner that was subsequently cut off. 



88 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 32. Loop start to flat open twine, some distance from the edge, 20c. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 89 

Plaiting 

In plaiting, all the strands are taken together at the start and may 
be knotted to hold them in place (22); sometimes the knot is left on as a 
decoration. 

CYLINDRICAL WORK 

For cylindrical work, that is work with open ends unless closed by other 
means, the following beginnings have been noted. 

Woven 

Chequer weave 

(a) The warps are bound tightly in position at the base of a cylinder and the 
binding string continues as the weft to weave in and out (23). This is the begin- 
ning of a chequer covering to a stick. It is also the beginning for a spoon-bag, 
which is woven on a form, nowadays a bottle, that is removed when the weaving 
is complete. 

(b) Another way of beginning chequer work is to lay the warps out and, 
after the first row of weft, bend into a cylinder so that the edges meet and the 
weft continues in a spiral (24). (This was seen on one example of the flat- 
bottomed seroto with wicker sides made by Kalanga in Serowe.) 

(c) Zulu spoon-bags were seen with the warps and wefts knotted in pairs to 
begin, and a diagonal chequer weave continued (24 bis). 

Twilled weave 

There are several ways of beginning a cylindrical twilled weave, but the 
most common is to knot the strands together in pairs of one warp and one weft at 
a slightly obtuse angle (25, Fig. 33 A). The pairs are then twilled together in a 
row and either then, after one row, or later, when a good bit of the fabric has 
been woven, bent round so that the two ends or edges meet and are woven 
together to make the circlet or cylinder. Alternatively, the warps and wefts may 
be knotted together as a bundle and then woven (26). This is used for twilled 
beer-strainers or pouches. Another method is that, instead of knotting two 
strands, one wide strand may be folded diagonally to make the warp and weft 
pair and then each split into two or more (27, Fig. 33B, C); this makes a pleas- 
ing flat edge. The work then proceeds as above. This is seen on a Manyika fez- 
shaped cap. 

Twined weave 

The warps are joined by the first row of weft, which starts with a knot. The 
work is bent round so that the edges meet and the weft continues in a spiral (28, 
Fig. 33D). Or, as in chequer weave, the warps may first be bound round a 
mould of the desired diameter. 



90 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



B 




Fig. 33. A. Start to cylindrical twill, warps and wefts knotted in pairs, 25. B-C. Start to cyl- 
indrical twill, warps and wefts split from folded wider strand, 27. D. Start to cylindrical 
twine warps joined by first row of weft; work curved so that edges meet and wefts continue in a 

spiral, 28. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



91 




Fig. 34. Garden basket, lattice twined wicker — one lattice, two wefts, start at open base later 
covered with a small mat; all elements palm. Ronga, Lebombo, 1954 (UCT 54/15). Height 

285 mm. 



Sewn 

Straight foundation 

The beginning is as for a flat object but at the end of the first row of sewing 
the work is bent round so that the two edges meet. The sewing strand then starts 
the second row and continues in a continuous spiral (29, Fig. 35). This is the 
beginning of one type of beer-strainer in which the foundation elements are two- 
or three-ply cords. The cords are knotted at one end and the knots are left on to 
form an edge. The work is begun by threading the sewing strand through the 
cords just above the knots (from the worker's point of view) and, finally, 
through the first foundation element to make the circle. It then continues in its 
spiral course. Sometimes an end is left to be joined by the ends of the cords to 
make a fringe (29b, Fig. 35). Sometimes the end of the sewing strand is knotted 
(29a, Fig. 35 A) but more often it is left long and turned up to become a cord in 
the fabric (29c, Fig. 35B). Very rarely the sewing starts from a decorative 
feature at the narrow end (29d). 

The foregoing beginnings are in no way notable; they are merely the most 
obvious ways of beginning the work and do not influence the rest of the body. 



CIRCULAR WORK! FLAT OR ASCENDING 



For circular work, however, the beginning is more important because it is 
the point from which the rest of the work radiates and it must be equally avail- 
able to all sides. There is not a great deal of variety in these beginnings. 



92 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





Fig. 35. Start to straight sewn cylindrical work. A. End of sewing strand is knotted, 29a. 
B. Sewing strand left long and worked in with foundation, 29c. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 93 

Woven work 

In woven work it is necessary to commence at the centre of a number of 
warp strands, which then radiate. Other strands can be inserted between them 
to increase the size. The following woven beginnings have been recorded in 
southern Africa: 

Crossed warp 

A few warps are taken, fewer than are necessary for the completion of the 
basket, and crossed at their centres (30, Fig. 36A). They are held together by 
one or two rows of the weft and then made to radiate, and other warps are 
inserted. It is essential that for chequer weaving the final number of warps be 
odd. One recorded type of this is on the wicker baskets of the Shona. Two warp 
elements (each of which will make two warps) are crossed, then two more added 
on top and held by two rows of weft; two more pairs are added in the same way 
and then a single one, to make the odd number seventeen. Each of these is 
doubled by adding another to it after 25 mm or so of weaving and, as they turn 
up for the sides, all but the odd one are divided and redoubled by the addition 
of further warps, thereby making thirty-three double warps. (This doubling and 
re-dividing is a common way of increasing circular woven basketwork.) A 
similar beginning is seen on an Ambo granary, which is lattice twined; two lots 
of five vertical warps are crossed and then held by the first ring of the horizontal 
warp. This beginning is suitable for any type of weaving and has been recorded 
on chequer, twine and, especially, wicker. It is mainly seen among the Shona, 
where woven work predominates. 

Bound warp 

A few warps are taken and bound together at their centres by the weft 
strand, which then commences to weave in and out. The warps radiate and 
others are added as the work progresses (31, Fig. 36B). This is the usual com- 
mencement of the circular twined work of the peoples of the south-east and 
seems only to be used there. Wrapped bird-cages also begin in this way, but the 
correct number of warps is used from the start. 

Looped warp 

As a variation of the above, the warps, instead of being bound together 
straight, are looped (32, Fig. 36C). 

Twined warp 

The warps are laid side by side and joined by one or more rows of twining 
at their centre. They are then bent about their centre and the twining continues 
spirally to make a round or elliptical bag (33a, 33b, Fig. 36D). 

Square mat 

Sufficient warp strands to make the basket are chosen and woven together 
at their centres into a square mat, which forms the base of the basket. In its sim- 



94 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 







<F^^5 





Jul I Juun_riLjiji_r 



Fig. 36. A. Crossed warp beginning, 30. B. Bound warp beginning, 31. C. Looped warp 
beginning, 32. D. Twined beginning to elliptical container, 33b. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 95 

plest form it is of single thickness (34a-d, Fig. 37A, B). Any type of weave 
would serve but only chequer, twill, twine and lattice twine have been noted. 
The strands are then turned up and become the warps of the sides, and a new 
continuous weft is woven through them. It is essential for circular chequer 
weaving that there be an odd number of warps, so that an extra one must be 
inserted at the base or one of the basal warps must be bent up on one side only. 
The basket could be kept square in section but, in the only examples seen in 
southern Africa, it is allowed to become round, except in the case of lattice 
twine baskets. There, a few strands of two sets of warps, each set held by a 
double row of twining, are laid across each other at right angles and other warps 
are added, tucking under each other singly, in such a way as to form increasing 
squares, making a square base of double thickness (34d, Fig. 37C). These begin- 
nings are used only by Ambo and Kavango people. An alternative method is 
that two sets of warps are taken (in the example seen there were eight strands in 
each set) and in each set the strands are laid side by side and held together by 
enough rows of twining to make a small flat square. The two squares are super- 
imposed, with the warps at right angles, and the twining is continued over the 
free part of all the warps to make the sides of the basket, new warps being 
added where necessary for width (34e, Fig. 37D). This is used only by immi- 
grants to the Kavango territory. Finally, one set of warps is held in groups 
between a double set in the opposite direction to make triple thickness (34f). 
They are held together by a row of twining between the groups in the same 
direction. The twine starts with a loop and the free end, when the base is formed, 
continues as the weft of the sides. The base may be strengthened by rods tied to 
it. This has only been seen in Mozambique and may not be indigenous. 

Open base 

Ronga lattice twined garden baskets flange from an open base (Fig. 34) 
begun in the same way as twined cylindrical work (Fig. 33D), and covered later. 

Extended plait 

For the start of the extended plait, the first four elements are looped and 
plaited together in a way that cannot be described (35, Fig. 38). 

Fancy 

Fancy starts to South Sotho hats: a bundle of warps is taken and divided 
into groups. At one end of each group the elements straight away become the 
multiple warps of the hat, and at the other end of each group they are plaited or 
bound (figure-of-eight) into braids that are looped over to make an ornamental 
top-knot, before re-entering the fabric of the hat as extra warps (36, Fig. 39). 

Sewn work 

There is no record of sewn circular work on a straight foundation, which 
would be very impractical. In sewn work in which the coiled technique is used. 



96 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





3 

C 




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BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



97 




Fig. 38. Start of extended plait, 35. 



the beginning is most commonly, but not always, at one end of the foundation. 
There is not much variety. The following beginnings have been recorded in 
southern Africa: 



Bent foundation 

The end of the foundation is bent over, for a short distance, and the sewing 
begins at the bend {37a, Fig. 40A); sometimes it is first bound a little with the 
sewing strand (37b, Fig. 40B); for an oval shape a longer piece is bent over and 
runs flat along the other for a little way. When knot-stitch is used for an oval 
shape, a longer piece is bent over and knot-stitch commences at the bend and 
continues to the end of the bent part, quite straight, and then continues round 
the coil (37c, Fig. 40C). 

Sometimes a short length of the foundation is plaited and then it is bent and 
sewn round the plait (37 d, Fig. 40D). 



98 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 39. Start of Southern Sotho hat, 36. 

Foundation ring 

The end of the foundation is bent into a ring — generally round but oval has 
been seen — and closely oversewn all round so that sometimes a hole is left (38b, 
Fig. 40F) and sometimes the sewing is so thick that the hole is filled up (38a, 
Fig. 40E). Then the coiling continues. 

Knotted foundation 

A thick knot is made at the end of a multiple foundation and the coil is 
sewn round it (39, Fig. 40G). 

Knotted sewing 

A knot is made at the end of the sewing strand and forms a pad into which 
the first round of stitches over the foundation is caught (40, Fig. 40H). This may 
be a single or multiple foundation. 

Sewing strand start 

The sewing strand is bent to a ring before the foundation is introduced. The 
sewing strand then encircles it and its own end (41, Fig. 401). 

Starting pad 

The end of the foundation (42a, Fig. 40J) or of the sewing (42b, Fig. 40K) is 
roughly stitched into a pad. 

Chequer square 

A chequer square is made by folding wide strips of the sewing material 
alternately, to interlock in a chequer square, two or more layers thick according 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 

/2L B 



99 




Fig. 40. Start of coiled sewing. A. Foundation bent, 37a. B. Foundation bent and bound, 37b. 
C. Foundation bent and held with knot stitch, 37c. D. Foundation plaited and bent, 37d. 
E. Foundation bent to a ring, hole closed, 38a. F. Foundation bent to a ring, hole open. 38b. 
G. End of foundation knotted, 39. H. End of sewing knotted, 40. I. Start with sewing strand, 
41. J. Start with stitched pad of foundation, 42a. K. Start with stitched pad of sewing. 42b. 



100 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





B 







Fig. 41. Start with double chequer square of sewing material, 43a. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



101 





H 






102 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

to choice. The strips are then split and the thin strands form the beginning of the 
sewing (43a, b, Fig. 41). This is almost always made of palm-leaf and almost 
entirely confined to the Zulu, Tsonga and Ambo. It is most probably an intro- 
duced technique. 



SHAPING 



INCREASES AND DECREASES 



There is nothing in any way remarkable about the methods of increasing or 
decreasing the size of the fabric. 

Woven and straight-sewn work 

Natural 

A natural increase or decrease in the width of flat elements may be exploited 
in shaping the object being made (44a, 44b). This has been recorded in twilled 
beer-strainers and pouches of palm-leaf, and in a San sieve where the thick 
nodes of the reeds used as warps are placed at the same edge to make a flanging 
shape. 

Artificial before use 

It can also be achieved artificially (45, Fig. 42 A) before the weaving begins, 
as, for example, by the Venda and others, who whittle down the ends of the 
slivers of wood with which they twill winnowing baskets. The narrowing of the 
fabric edge that thus ensues causes the fabric to turn up at the edges, which are 
secured between hoops. 

Dividing, adding and subtracting 

A common method of increasing woven work is by dividing the existing 
warps (46a) or adding new warps (47a, Fig. 42C), either put in straight, in which 
case they are generally doubled with the old warps for a few wefts, or in a U- 
bend. Wefts can also be added in this way (47c). The corresponding method of 
decrease is by pairing one or both elements (46b, Fig. 42B) or by taking the 
warps (47b) or foundation strands (48, Fig. 42E) out of the fabric, knotting or 
sewing them, and cutting off the remaining piece. This latter method is used 
very commonly in straight-sewn beer-strainers. 

Thickening and thinning 

Increases or decreases can also be made by thickening or thinning a multiple 
warp (49a, 49b), but this is not very common unless it is preparatory to dividing 
the thickened warp. 

Altering tension 

The tension of the work is used to widen or narrow the shape (50a, 50b, 
Fig. 14), particularly in wickerwork, and less commonly in twilled work and 
sewn beer-strainers. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



103 




Fig. 42. A. Chequer weave showing artificial decrease and increase of elements, 45. 

B. Twilled weave showing artificial decrease by pairing elements, 46b. C. Twined weave 

showing increase by adding warps, 47a. D. Decrease in coiled sewn work by placing of coil. 

51b. E. Decrease in straight sewing by removing foundation elements, 50. 



104 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Coiled sewn work 

Placing coil 

In coiled sewn work, the shaping is achieved by the placing of the coil to 
enlarge or reduce the diameter (51a, 51b, Fig. 42D). 

Thickening or thinning 

Certain alterations may be made by thickening or thinning the coil foun- 
dation for one or more coils, but this is not common (52a, 52b). 

MOULDING OR CUTTING 

This occurs in woven work and straight sewn work only. 

Moulding 

A loosely woven fabric may be moulded into shape and held in shape by 
oversewing the edge to a hoop or holding it between two hoops (53, Fig. 43). 
Examples of this are the winnowing baskets and especially the waisted mufharo 
basket of the Venda (Fig. 4), in which the bowl is hollowed by forcing each edge 
of the fabric into a band that is smaller than the natural diameter of the bowl. A 
curved upper portion is then moulded in the same way. Craftsmen aid the 
process by working with damp material. One who was visited made a shallow 
depression in the ground and forced the mat into it to set the required curve, 
and another used a basin of water in the same way. 

Gathering 

A cylindrical fabric may be shaped by gathering into a knot or bound bundle 
at one end (54, Fig. 14). This is seen in traps and some beer-strainers. 




Fig. 43. Winnowing basket, shaped by cutting and moulding and edge held between hoops. 
Straight twill, warp and weft of wood slivers, hoops wood. Manyika, Mutare (Umtali), Zim- 
babwe, 1963 (SAM-8968). Greatest diameter, 378 mm. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



105 



Move to right 

In a special instance, that of shaping the bulbous top-knot on some South 
Sotho hats, the warps are moved one to the right or left, depending on the direc- 
tion of work, with a twist round the next one to make the ridge stand out before 
narrowing (55, Fig. 44). 




Fig. 44. Shaping by moving warps to right for ridge of hat, 55. 



Bend warps 

Warps may be bent into shape during the weave (56), as in the somewhat 
specialized case of woven spoons, where the warps are bent at their centre to 
form the bowl and then come together to form a central core that is wrapped or 
plaited to form a handle (58, Fig. 106). 

Bend fabric 

A fabric may be bent into shape after the weave, for example, in pouches 
and spoon-bags where a cylindrical fabric is pressed flat and held by sewing; or 
the shallow straight-sided baskets of the Kalanga in Botswana, where a flat 
narrow fabric is bent to form a shallow cylinder, sewn at the overlap of the ends, 
and the shape held by hoops and a hide base (57, Fig. 45); or the ornamental 
knobs on South Sotho hats. 

Cut fabric 

A certain amount of shaping is done by cutting the fabric (59, Fig. 43), par- 
ticularly where a round object is made from a square piece of fabric. This may 



106 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 45. Chequer wicker basket, shaped by bending fabric to shape after weave. Warp split 

reed; weft and stitching bark; hide base and binding of rim. Ngwato (Kalanga), Serowe 

Botswana, 1904 (SAM-586). Height 154 mm. 

be seen in the winnowing baskets, where a round hoop is attached to a square of 
fabric (Fig. 43). As soon as the first fastening is done the four corners are cut 
off. 

Shorten wefts 

The ends of some Xhosa sleeping-mats are rounded by shortening the wefts 
and trimming the warps off to shape (60). 

JOINING OF PARTS 

In certain baskets, two or more pieces of fabric are prepared and have to be 
joined together (61). Examples are the mufharo baskets of the Venda, where 
the upper and lower parts are joined at the centre by a band of sewing over a 
hoop on each side of the fabric (Fig. 4). Similarly, the walls of the straight-sided 
Kalanga and Ndau baskets have to be joined to a woven or hide base (Fig. 45). 

EDGES 



There is a great variety in edges, which differ mainly according to whether 
the body of the work is woven or straight sewn, or, on the other hand, coiled 
sewn. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 107 

WOVEN AND STRAIGHT SEWN WORK 

On woven and straight sewn work there are two edges to be considered: the 
warp edges, where the warps or foundation strands end, and the weft edges, 
where the wefts or sewing strands end. 

Warp or foundation edges 

No edging 

The warp edge of some chequer wicker- and wattlework and of finely 
twined work frequently has no edging at all. The warps are merely cut off short, 
but not so short that the wefts will slip off (62a, 62b, 62c). 

Changed weft 

The use of a different and sometimes thicker material for the last weft (63 ) 
has been recorded on twined work, but is not very widespread. 

Selvedge 

The most common edging of close woven work, whether chequer, twilled, 
twined, lattice twined or plaited, might be considered a form of selvedge, in that 
the warps are turned back and tucked in. There are very many varieties of this. 

On straight chequer the last row of weft may be tucked straight back (64a), 
or into the next gap (64b), or may be reinforced by thickenings or by the 
addition of an extra element before or after (64c, Fig. 46A) the warps are bent 
over and tucked back on their tracks. All these are rare. 

On diagonal chequer both warps and wefts continue over the edge and are 
threaded through the check on a natural course and cut off invisibly (65). 

On straight twill the warp ends are turned back and tucked in, without 
reinforcement of the last weft (66). 

On diagonal twill both sets of elements, before being cut off, continue over 
the edge on a normal course — front down back and back down front — to make 
a single edge (67 a). Or, both sets are turned over to the front when they have 
reached the top and are threaded through the twill on a natural course; when 
done without further complication this makes a slightly thickened front edge 
(67b, Fig. 47 A). This is the most common edge but there is some variation in 
the way in which it is done. Alternatively elements of each set are turned over at 
right angles and threaded through on the same side to make a double edge (67c, 
Fig. 47B). The effect of a raised edge on the finishing side is made by turning 
down those elements that are in front before they complete their course to the 
back (67 d). On a pouch, the lower portion may have the elements turned to the 
back and those of the lid to the front so that the smooth sides are together when 
closing. On a bag of modern style with a pointed flap, the edges of the flap are 
finished by turning one set of elements back on its tracks over a reinforcing 
strip — reinforced edge (67 e). A further variation is for one set of elements to be 
cut off at the edge and for the other set to bend over to the back, hiding the cut 
elements, and making a thin edge (67 f, Fig. 47C). 



108 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

On twined work the warps may simply be bent under and held either by a 
single row of twining (68a), or by a strand made by twisting some warps to the 
right to continue, one after the other (68b, Fig. 48 A). More commonly in the 
south, the warps may be turned over from back to front or front to back, and 
tucked into the stitches of a final row of twining and through to the back again 
to give a scalloped effect (68c-68o, Fig. 52, right). Several ways in which this is 
done, sometimes with the full warp, part warp, or alternate warps, are demon- 
strated by the illustrations (Figs 48, 49). This edging appears to be characteristic 
of the Nguni, especially in the south. Another selvedge gives a plaited effect and 
this too has a number of varieties (68p-68w, Fig. 50). Twined work sometimes 
has a reinforced edge when a lattice is added on each side of the fabric, above 
the last row of the weft. Each warp then passes round both lattices, and out to 
the front below the front lattice, where it is cut (68w, Fig. 50G). This is not very 
common. On another edge an extra strand is wrapped round the twining strands 
(68x). 

On lattice twined work a selvedge is made by turning the warps back on 
themselves, either to hold and be held by the twining strand (69a, Fig. 51 A), 
or to hold the lattice (69c, Fig. 5 IB); either may be reinforced (69b, d). This 
was recorded only from the Hlengwe and Ndau of Zimbabwe and from the 
Kwanyama. 

On wickerwork the warps may be bent sideways and tucked in next to the 
following warp (70, Fig. 46B). 

The isolated body technique of the extended plait is edged with another plait 
close to the last, with the inner ends that should go through again, cut off and 
the end from the previous plait going through alone (71, Fig. 51C). This is a 
South Sotho technique. 

Tucked edge 

Straight sewn work may be given a tucked edge by bending the foundation 
elements to the side and tucking them either under the last sewing strand or into 
one or more rows of twining above the last sewing strand (72a-72g, Fig. 53 A). 

Chequer edge 

The mouth of a lattice twined granary of the Ambo has a rounded edge that 
is made by laying a number of horizontal strands over the tops of the vertical 
strands and holding them by chequer weave with the bark weft (73, Fig. 53B). 

Whipped edge 

A Lobedu twined sleeping-mat has its edges finished with a double row of 
twining and then, at one edge only, the warp bundles are whipped with single- 
ply twisted sedge (74, Fig. 53C), formerly part of the warp. 

Twined edge 

The most common warp edging is of two or more rows of close plain twining 
with the warps or foundation elements cut short (75a). This is used when the 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



109 




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. TTT T^ 





Fig. 46. A. Straight selvedge on warp edge of chequer, with reinforcing strand, 64c. B. Plain 
sideways selvedge on warp edge of chequer wicker, ^70. 



110 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 47. A. Front selvedge on diagonal twill, 67b. B. Double selvedge on diagonal twill, 67c 
C. Thin selvedge on diagonal twill, 67f. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



111 




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112 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



B 




Fig. 49. A-B. Front and back of scalloped selvedge on twine, multiple warp; part up to edge 
and cut, part from back to front to back and cut, 68d. C-D. Scalloped selvedge on twine; part 
up to edge and cut, part from back to front to back and up to edge and cut, 68h. E-F. Scal- 
loped selvedge on twine, full multiple warp from front to back and down through two rows of 

twine, 68n. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 113 

body is of a fancy twine, or of a widely spaced open twine, as on mats. On a 
Naron sieve of open twine, several rows of close twine are placed just below the 
nodes of the reeds that form the warps. It is also used on a body of chequer and 
is used very frequently on straight sewn work; sleeping-mats in the latter tech- 
nique are generally edged with two or three rows of plain twining as are, among 
some people, the sewn beer-strainers described above. These latter nearly 
always start with the cords knotted and some makers leave the knots on as an 
edging; others start the work with four or five rows of plain twining and cut the 
knots off. It is sometimes used in the opposite diagonal to the main body of 
twining (75b, Fig. 54A). Similarly, plain twined work may have a border of two- 
ox three-strand fancy twining, over two and under one (75c, 75d, Fig. 54B), or a 
chain stitch effect on the front only, by twining with three strands, one of which 
turns round the other two between warps and comes out in front again (75 e, 
Fig. 54C). 

A twined food-mat is edged by weaving or sewing one or two extra wefts 
through the first and last row of twining in the same (75 f, Fig. 54D, E), or in the 
opposite (75 g) direction. The warps are cut short on a Mpondo mat or, on a 
Xesibe example, bent over on the right side and held down by the extra weft. 

Sometimes, on straight sewn mats, a fibre cord on each side of the edge of 
the fabric is lattice twined to it (75 h). 

Wrapped edge 

A wrapped edge is seen very often on straight sewn sleeping-mats, but tends 
to be more common in the east and north, especially amongst the Shona. It may 
be plain wrapping with a single strand over two, three or four foundation ele- 
ments or warps, and under one or two (76a, Fig. 55A, B); or two strands are 
used and one or both of them twine as well as wrapping (76c, 76d, Fig. 55E, F); 
or the edge may be hitched (76b, Fig. 55C, D), when a single strand is given a 
full- or half-hitch after each wrap; or it may be wrapped in a figure-of-eight (76i): 
or taken over three foundation strands to give a chain effect (76j). Sometimes a 
lattice, in the form of fibre cord, is added to the plain and hitched wrapping 
(76g, 76h, Fig. 56A, B). Only the plain and hitched varieties are at all common. 
An isolated instance from the Fue in the Okavango area is tied with a half-reef 
knot at each wrap (76e, 76f). 

Plaited edge 

An elaborate plaited edging is given to some Zulu grain-bins of twined 
fabric. First of all the warps are bent outwards almost at right angles and held by 
three rows of twining; then the warps are twisted sideways and finished off with 
a plait (77a, Fig. 57). In a similar example from the Chopi, the edge is double 
(77b). A different sort of plaited edging is seen on similar grain-bins of the 
Ndebele in Zimbabwe, where the thinned warps — after separation into groups 
of three strands — are plaited and hang down (77c, Fig. 58A, B). 



114 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




J 


J 






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t 


J r u 






n 


f^i 



B 




Fig. 50. A-B. Plaited selvedge on twine, full warp, 68p. C-D. Plaited selvedge on twine, part 
warp, 68q. E-F. Twilled plaited selvedge on twine, 68u. G. Reinforced selvedge on twine, 

68w. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



115 






116 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 51. A. Selvedge on lattice twine; warps turned back on themselves, holding, and then held 

by single twining strand, 69a. B. Selvedge on lattice twine, holding, and then held by one or 

more lattices; extra lattices added later, 69c. C. Selvedge on extended plait, 71. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



117 






rwmsmmrmtmmmm 



Fig. 52. Corner of twined food-mat. Scalloped selvedge, multiple warp back to front and cut, 
68k (right), and wrapped weft edge on twine, 86d (below). 



Oversewing 

An oversewn edge, similar to that on coiled work, is sometimes used, 
mostly in the east of the area. The sewing may be direct (78a, 78b) or over 
additional wefts (78c, 78d), in plain or fancy stitch or over one or more thick- 
ened coils added above the last wefts (78e, 78f). This latter is commonly sewn 
with a three-strand plait (78e, Fig. 59A, B) or with plain bark (78f). An over- 
sewn edging on chequer wicker with widely spaced warps, is made by bending 
the remaining warps sideways and twisting them round the edge, where they are 
held in place by oversewing at intervals (78g). This is seen more commonly than 
elsewhere in the extreme north-east of Zimbabwe. Oversewing on wicker may 
be over and into the warps only (78h), and sometimes only into alternate warps 
(78i, Fig. 59C), or the edge may be reinforced and oversewn at intervals (75/), 
or all round (78k). The reinforcing may be with one or more lattices on each 
side (781, Fig. 59D). 

Knotted edge 

Beer-strainers, whether sewn or woven, usually have a knotted edge. This 
generally results from the manner of starting. The varieties are: a plain knotted 
edge (79a, Fig. 60B); a fringed edge in which either the knots are between fringe 
and fabric (79b, Fig. 60A, 107) or the fringe is between knots and fabric (79c, 
Fig. 60D). In the latter, the fringe may be twisted (79c, Fig. 60D) or plaited 



118 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



EJ fc 




JJJJ LK 


TT 


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Ml (1111 






JlUl JJ 


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Fig. 53. A. Tucked selvedge on straight sewn work, 72a. B. Chequer edge on lattice twine, 
73. C. Whipped warp edge on twine, 74. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



119 






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120 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 






Fig. 55. A-B. Outer and inner views of plain wrapped warp edge to twine, with single strand 

over two double warps and under one, 76a. C-D. Inner and outer views of warp edging of 

hitched wrapping with single strand on straight sewn, 76b. E-F. Outer and inner views of 

edging of wrapped twining on straight sewn, 76d. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



121 




v — ; 



j 



L J V > 




u 



U 




122 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



(79d), and an edge on which the knots are tucked under the last sewing strand 
and may be cut off plain or end in a fringe too {79 e, 79 f, Fig. 60C). 

Stapled edge 

For wickerwork, a purely utilitarian type of edging seen on Shona garden 
baskets and Mpondo meat trays is the insertion of a hoop of the same material 
as the wefts, between each pair of warps, crossing the cross of the wefts (80, 
Fig. 61A). 



1 






1 



H 



n 



3 



u uuo 



3 



4 B 



~J 



1 




B 



Fig. 56. A. Lattice wrapped edge on straight sewn, 76g. 
B. Hitched lattice wrapped edge, 76h. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



123 



Rims 

Flat twilled work that is cut to a round after weaving is edged in a similar 
way throughout the centre, east and north-east of the country, and the edge is as 
important for determining the shape of the object as for giving it strength 
(Fig. 63). One or more thin hoops of wood or reed are fixed on one or both 
sides of the edge of the fabric in such a way that the fabric has to turn up to fit 
the size of the hoop and the whole is oversewn closely with a strong material 
(81a, 81c, Fig. 61B-D). Sometimes another hoop is placed on top before the 
oversewing (81b). Winnowing trays, both twilled and chequer weave, are edged 
like this. As a variation of this, occurring only in the north and in Mozambique, 
an extra upstanding rim, wide or narrow, and of wood or bamboo, may be sewn 
on in addition to the hoops, (81 d, 81 e, Figs 62A-B, C-D, 63). In one example 
seen, two outside hoops are projected as a ridge (81 f, Fig. 62E). Sometimes 
deep, lidded baskets are made in this way. 

Hems and flat bindings 

Edgings to twilled work that seem to point to external influence are a 
turned down hem (82) stitched with fine string, and a flat binding (83) sewn on 
with string. 

Weft or sewing edges 

The weft edges are rather different, since for the most part their finish 
depends on the fact that the wefts or sewing strands have to be carried back to 
continue the weaving or sewing along the next row. The main difference 
depends on whether wefts or sewing strands are close together or far apart. In 
some cases, the last warp on each end is either reinforced or made of a thick 
stick, e.g. sieves of the San of northern Cape. Sometimes, however, the wefts 
are not taken back, but are cut off at the end and secured in various ways. 

Wefts or sewing strands end off singly 

The simplest of the weft edge techniques is for wefts or sewing strands to 
end off when they reach the edge. They may be knotted at the edge and cut off 



Stage 2 



Stage 3 



Stage 4 




Fig. 57. Plaited edge on twine, 77a. 



124 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




B 




Fig. 58. A. Warp edge of hanging plaits on twine, 77c. B. Grain-bins with ends of warps 
plaited to hang down. Ndebele, between Nyambi and Humbani, Zimbabwe, 1967. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



125 




Fig. 59. A-B. Edge of circular work oversewn with plaited strand over thick multiple coil, 
78e. C. Edge of oversewing into alternate warps on chequer wicker, 78i. D. On wicker, edge 
reinforced above weaving by one lattice on each side, and oversewn all round and through 

warps, 781. 



126 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





B 




Fig. 60. A. Knotted edge on straight sewn, fringed above knots, 79c. B. Plain knotted edge 

on straight sewn, 79a. C. Knotted edge on straight sewn, knots tucked under last sewing strand 

with short fringe, 79f. D. Knotted edge on twill, twisted fringe below knots, 79c. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



127 




JCX 




Fig. 61. A. Stapled edge on wicker chequer, 80. B-C. Rim formed by one hoop on one side, 
oversewn, 81a. D. Rim formed by one hoop on each side, oversewn, 81c. 



128 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 62. A-B. Hoop inside and outside, extra rim covered by wide band on outside, spaced 

oversewing on twill, 81d. C-D. Wide wooden band outside, hoop inside, spaced oversewing 

on twine, 81 e. E. Wide wooden band outside, two hoops inside, two extra hoops oversewn 

outside as outstanding rim, spaced oversewing of band and hoops; on twill, 81 f. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



129 




Fig. 63. Basket, diagonal twill; fabric held between narrow hoop inside and wide wooden band 
outside, spaced oversewing. Ndau, Chimanimani (Melsetter), 1964 (SAM-9104). Diameter 

335 mm. 



(84a, Fig. 64A). Alternatively, they may be sewn over the last warp or warps 
several times (84b), or wound round one or more of the last warps or foundation 
strands before being knotted and cut (84c, Fig. 64B). Or the loose end may, 
after or without knotting, be threaded, twined or sewn back parallel to itself for 
a short distance (84d, Fig. 64D; 84e, Fig. 64C). In straight sewn work, the 
sewing strand may be wrapped round the last foundation element, threaded up 
and cut (84f), or finished with a fancy knot (84g). 

Wefts or sewing strands taken back 

It is more common in a close weave for the wefts or sewing to turn straight 
back (85a-85c). The corresponding form in open work is for them to be twisted 
together and carried down the edge to the place where the next row is to com- 
mence. They may be carried down taut (85 d), or left slack to form a series of 
loops on the edge (85e, Fig. 65 A), or they may be half-hitched at the beginning 
and end of each row (85f-85i, Fig. 65B). Quite frequently they are wound 
(85j-85m, Fig. 65C) or twined (85r) round the outside warp or an extra 
reinforcing warp, or twined back and forth several times until the starting point of 
the next row is reached (85j-m). In southern San sieves they turn straight back 
(85n), sometimes with an extra twist round the last warp (85 o), but sometimes 
take a diagonal direction (Figs 65D, 66), and sometimes every second row of 
weft is knotted and cut off at the edge. The edges may be reinforced (85 p. 
Fig. 66). On Mpondo and Mpondomise sleeping-mats of sedge stems, held 
together by twining with fibre cord, the ends of the cord are twined back on 



130 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 







^£3 




^^s 




JUiJ 




B 



JQQ D D 0QR 



□ Dug 



QPOQ 



000000 



0Ofe^ 



Fig. 64. A. Wefts knotted and cut at the end of the row, 84a. B. Sewing strand wound round 
three foundation elements before being knotted, 84c. C. Twining wefts taken back parallel for 
a short distance, 84e. D. Sewing strand wrapped round and threaded back a short distance, 

84d. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



131 




Fig. 65. A. Sewing strands carried down slack to next row, 85e. B. Weft half-hitched, carried 
down to next row and half hitched again, 85f. C. One strand of weft wound round last warp 
to next starting place, one strand carried straight down, 85k. D. Weft taken straight back 

diagonally, with extra twist, 85n. 



132 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 66. Sieve, open twine; wefts taken back diagonally in three places, straight in two; warp of 

twigs, wefts of thick sinew; two lattices wrapped; edges reinforced. San (Bushman), Gordonia, 

Cape, 1911 (SAM-1552). Length 615 mm. 

their tracks for a few warps, which may be doubled, before being wound down a 
warp to the next row (85 q). The same method is put to decorative use on a 
Mpukushu sleeping-mat of sedge stems sewn together, where the ends of the 
sewing strands, when they emerge at the edge of the work, are twined back for 
10-15 cm, in irregular lengths, making a fancy border at each end of the mat, 
before continuing across the work. 

Wefts wrapped 

In close twined food-mats there are a few characteristic side edges, the basis 
of which is for one of the weft strands to be wrapped once or more often around 
the last warp, while the other turns back without going round the last warp, but 
passing over the other weft in a variety of ways to form a decorative edging 
(86a-86j, Figs 67, 52). 

Edge oversewn 

The weft edge may be oversewn over the last warp (87), either plain or with 
a fancy stitch, after the work is complete. Neither of these methods is common. 

Lattice wrap 

The ends (weft edges) of straight sewn work may be reinforced with a lat- 
tice and the sewing wrapped over and under before going back along its row (88). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



133 







Fig. 67. A-F. Six versions of wrapped weft edge on twined weave, 86a, 86b, 86d, 86%. 86h, 

86i. 



134 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 






r^-^Cx 


r^ 




) \* 




\ \\ 


<~s ^\ 


1 -, \1 


■t-y Vi 


KSK 






\ V 




^ \^ 


>^y \ 





Fig. 68. A. Edge of close simple oversewing over thinned coil, 90. B. Edge of close oversewing 

over thickened coil, 91. C. Final coil reinforced and sewing material changed, 93. D-E. Front 

and back views of alternating oversewing, coil partly encircled, then pierced, 94b. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



135 



COILED SEWN WORK 

On coiled work, the edging is of necessity some sort of oversewing, often 
different from the technique of the rest of the body. It may be done with the 
same or with different material, or with the coil unchanged, thickened or thinned, 
or with or without a change of stitch. 

No change of stitch 

An edging gives added strength to the final coil, but that it is not absolutely 
necessary is shown by the fact that very many of the coiled baskets have no 
special edging, the last coil being sewn in just the same way as the others (89a). 
In simple oversewing over a simple foundation, however, the spaces between 
the long stitches in the last row may be filled with a short stitch, which gives the 
impression of an edging (89b). Sometimes, however, the stitch remains the same 
but the material (92) or the thickness of the coil (90, 91, Fig. 68A, B) is 
changed. The coil may also be reinforced and the material of the sewing strand 
changed (93, Fig. 68C). 

Change of stitch 

A simple and fairly common edging is plain oversewing, closely worked and 
often used when another stitch or more widely spaced oversewing has been used 
for the body (94a). In the latter case, the edge oversewing strand may sew into 
the space between the stitches only, and the last coil may be alternatively 
pierced and encircled one (94b, Fig. 68D, E) or more times, the latter in the 
manner of openwork sewing. 

Nauhaus (1881) described Nguni coiled work edge as being like 'fine 
buttonhole-stitch'. The plain buttonhole or blanket stitch does not now seem to 
occur on coiled work, but a fancy variety is used on Himba baskets in the Kaoko- 
veld (95a, 95b, Fig. 69). 




B 




Fig. 69. Top and side views of fancy blanket-stitch edging. 95b. 



136 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 







Fig. 70. Herring-bone edging on coiled sewn work, with flat material. A-B. Round coil, 96a. 

C. Long stitch on top of coil, 96e. D. Once half round and once through new upper coil and 

once through lower coil, 96f. E. Once round upper coil and once through lower coil, 96g. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



137 





Fig. 71. A. Two-coil herring-bone edge, 96h. B. Raised herring-bone edge, 96i. C. Diagonal 
oversewing of edge, round coil, 97a. D. Diagonal oversewing of edge, raised on top of coil. 
97c. E. Diagonal oversewing of edge, round coil in opposite direction, making cross stitch. 

97e. 



138 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



A very common decorative edging for coiled baskets is oversewing that 
gives a herringbone effect (96). This method of sewing is shown in Figures 70 
and 71. It is generally done with a fairly wide flat strand but sometimes with a 
cord. The stitch may be long, i.e. over many sewing stitches, or short. The coil 
foundation of the fabric may be multiple or single, unchanged, thickened or 
thinned, or a new coil may be added. The sewing may be close or open, and the 
stitches may pass round the final coil (96a-d, Figs 26, 70A, B) or through the 
top of it (96e, Fig. 70C). Or a new coil may be attached and the sewing pass 
once round and once through the new coil (96f, Fig. 70D), or round the new coil 
and through the old coil (96g, Fig. 70E). 

A slightly different effect is obtained by sewing in a similar way alternately 
over two coils — the new and the old, and then one — the new (96h, Fig. 71 A). 
By using the identical stitch to this over one coil and the sewing only, a raised 
herringbone effect is obtained (96i, Fig. 71B). In plain open sewing a cross- 
stitch effect is obtained (96j). 

An edging that is frequently used by the Nguni, some Tsonga and the 
Tswana is a diagonal oversewing round (97a, Fig. 71C) or on top of the last coil, 
each stitch passing over several of the straight stitches of the coil. When it is on 
top, it may be done so that it lies flat (97b), is raised (97c, Fig. 71D), or it may 
make a cross-stitch by being sewn in the opposite direction through (97d) or 
round (97e, Fig. 71E) the coil. It may be used on a multiple or a single rod foun- 
dation, and with one or more sewing strands. 

A chain stitch effect is obtained by reinforcing the edge with two strong ribs 
of palm-leaf, and oversewing with three strands, the first with straight stitches 




Fig. 72. A-B. Triple oversewing, 98. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 139 

over both reinforcing strands, and each of the others diagonally over one 
reinforcing strand, so that the stitches pass between the straight stitches (98, 
Fig. 72A, B). This edging of triple oversewing appears to be a Natal Nguni style. 

Added edge 

Sometimes the edge is strengthened by the addition of an extra coil or two 
of foundation on top of or side by side with the last one (99a). This may be 
attached by simple oversewing or with a different stitch (99b). 

A variety of added edging that seems to be Sotho is for one or more com- 
plete rings of foundation to be sewn on after the last coil has been ended off. 
This may be done in the same sewing stitch (99c) or a different one (99d), and 
the foundation may or may not be thickened. 

Very occasionally the edge is strengthened by placing a hoop round one or 
both sides of the edge and oversewing it into place (100, Fig. 73), or by making 
the last coil a withy and oversewing it at intervals (101). 

Finally, the edge may be bound, generally with leather (102) — this is poss- 
ibly a modern innovation. 

Many of these edgings, particularly those on coiled work, may be made 
more decorative by the introduction of coloured strands. 



Fig. 73. Hoop added to the inner side of last coil, 100; cross-stitch oversewing. 



FINISHINGS 

In general, the finishing off, both of the loose ends in the work and of the 
whole piece of basketwork, is purely utilitarian and not turned to decorative 
effect. 

No special finishing 

The usual finishing of ends of material in the body is to cut or break them 
off close to the work (103), generally with the new strand overlapping a little, or 
to thread them back into the work before cutting off (104), where the stiffness of 



140 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

the material prevents them from unravelling. The Ndebele in Zimbabwe, in 
coiled work, sew over the end with the new strand and consider it poor work if 
this is visible. 

Oversewn 

The strand at the end of sewn work, whether straight or coiled, is oversewn 
once or twice, either simply or in figure-of-eight or herringbone (105a-105c, 
Figs 74A, 78). 

Knotted 

In either coiled or woven work the finishing and restarting ends may be 
knotted, either together (106a, 106b, Fig. 74B) or separately, or plaited and 
knotted (106c), but this is more common in woven work. 

Taken back diagonally 

A rare, and perhaps not important, decorative finish to an oversewn edge is 
used by the Kalahadi in the Molepolole area. Each strand of the oversewing of 
the edge is taken back diagonally, threaded through and cut off (107, Fig. 74C). 

In woven circular work the edgings already described act as finishings. 

Strands back on tracks with fringe 

The 'hemmed' edge of a Manyika twilled fish bag has the ends of each set of 
elements turned back on themselves outwards, threaded through and cut off, at 
the level of the edges, about 15 mm. This makes a fringe in between the two 
sections (108, Fig. 74D, E). 

Ends bound together 

To finish off plaited bangles, the usual method is to make the ring by laying 
the two ends together, either in the same (109a, Fig. 74F) or in the opposite 
(109b, 109c) direction, and then bind them with a strand of the same material 
for a length of about 15 mm. The join may also be made by winding the plaiting 
strands round the join in turn, tucking them under in a half-hitch and cutting 
them off (109d, Fig. 74G, H). The winding may be done with a new strand. 

Spiny finish 

An extension of this idea is used for finishing off the ends of sewn beer- 
strainers. The twined foundation strands that remain after the narrowing by 
knotting inside, are brought up in front and over the sewing strand and put 
through to come out below it on the outside. As several rows are necessary to 
end off all the strands, the effect is of a spiny cone (110b, Fig. 75 A, B, F). 
Sometimes this method of finishing is also used on flat plaited grass bracelets 
and necklets and on brooms, and it was seen on one twilled beer-strainer. Some- 
times, instead of a cone, the spiny finishings make a narrow band (HOe, HOf, 
Fig. 75C, D). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



141 





H 



r%lt A Fil ? ish / n §. of figure-of-eight oversewing, 105b. B. Ends knotted together 106b 

^U^^d^riSl' 7 F 7 F^-? n di T nal tWiU ' Strands taken bafkon-t/ackt 
turned up again and cut 70S. F Ends laid together in same direction and bound 109c 

G-H. Ends laid together and half-hitched, 109d. 



142 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 75. A-B. Spiny cone on straight sewing, 110b. C. Spiny band on central core of straight 
sewing, HOe. D. Spiny finishing plus whipping, on central core of diagonal twill, llOf. E. Seiz- 
ing on sewn beer-strainer, 111. F. Whipping and spiny cone on straight sewn beer-strainer, 

112. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



143 



Seizing and whipping 

Great use is made of various types of wrapping — seizing (777, Fig. 75E), 
whipping (112, Fig. 75F), and woven figure-of-eight seizing (113, Fig. 76A). This 
may be seen on broom-ends, spoon handles and beer-strainers. Sometimes two 
methods of finishing are combined (Fig. 75D, F). 




Fig. 76. A. Figure-of-eight seizing round end of broom, 113. B. Elements of twilled beer- 
strainer turned inside and knotted together, 114. C. Invisible sewing on cylindrical twilled 
work, 115a. D-E. Two views of double tacking to join two edges of flattened cylindrical twill. 

117b. 



144 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Elements turned inside 

While the base of most sewn beer-strainers is bound several times in one of 
the foregoing styles, with a cord similar to those that form the foundation, the 
woven beer-strainers and some sewn ones are finished at the bottom, by turning 
the elements inside and knotting them, or knotting them first and pushing them 
inside (114, Fig. 76B). Generally the hanging loop is knotted in with them. 

Sewing on twilled work 

One of the most ingenious finishings is used on nearly all twilled palm-leaf 
pouches, from whatever part of the country they come. When the weaving is 
finished, the cylinder is pressed flat and the knots with which the work was com- 
menced (see p. 90, Fig. 33A) are turned under inside to form the lower end. A 
strong thread is then sewn through from the outside, picking up one of the bent 
strands on each side alternately, in such a way that when pulled tight the thread 
is invisible and the twill appears to be uninterrupted (115a, Fig. 76C). An Ndau 
example had the knots cut off and the ends woven back on themselves before 
the thread went through, thus making a neat ridge inside. This invisible method 
is also used to join twilled edges on a sleeping-mat from Mozambique, which is 
made up of a great number of twill-plaited strips, 50 mm wide. The whole 
appears to be a continuous twill with horizontal ridges. This appears to be a 
technique that has spread south down the East African coast. It is found mainly 
at the coast. 

The Tsonga do not always use this method on cylindrical work, but leave 
the sewing visible (115b) or oversew (116) or tack twice (117a, 117b, Fig. 76D, 
E) on the outside with bark fibre thread. A Ronga specimen used by diviners 
has the closed ends folded and sewn together in three points instead of two. 

On cylindrical work 

At the base of Zulu cylindrical spoon-bags, the warps of the chequer fabric 
are knotted together in twos and threes to join the two edges made by flattening 
the cylinder (118a); this is often followed by a row of twining (118b). Alter- 
natively, the warps are crossed, sometimes after an initial row of twining, and a 
row of twining holds each edge separately (118c-118g, Fig. 77A, B). In this case 
the edge is sometimes sewn together with fancy stitching or beadwork, or each 
side of it may be bound (118h-118i). Sometimes the warps are simply knotted in 
pairs after crossing. 

Open base 

A cylindrical basket made with the base open may have it closed by a round 
of hide (119a), or a square of matting sewn or woven on (119b, Fig. 77C, D). 

Closed base 

Baskets with closed bases, particularly conical baskets, often have a round 
of dressed skin, bark, palm midrib, wood or, latterly, cloth or even cardboard, 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



145 




X5 






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146 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



plastic or inner tubing, sewn on the outside of the base to protect it from wear 
(120a-120g). This is very much Tswana practice. 

Side edges joined by half-hitches 

The two cones that are fitted one inside the other to make a fish trap are 
joined together by half -hitches (121). 




Fig. 78. Herring-bone finish to sewing of coil. Ndebele, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 1939 

(SAM-5998). 



DECORATION 

This section deals with decoration in the body of the work, exclusive of the 
often decorative body techniques and decorative as well as utilitarian edgings 
already described. It should be noted that decoration takes place during the 
work as a modification of the fabric and, further, that ornamental adjuncts (see 
below) may themselves be made in one of the main techniques. 

South African basketwork is not highly decorated. A good deal of it is quite 
plain, but the majority does show a simple line decoration or some geometrical 
pattern. The latter is more common in the extreme north, where there is influ- 
ence from Angola or Zambia. Naturalistic patterns do not occur south of the 
Zambezi, except as a result of foreign influence. 

It is interesting to note that basketwork differs from many other crafts in 
that the decoration, bound as it is by the technique, is based on the accentuation 
and enhancement, rather than the disguising or obliteration, of the technique of 
making. In many cases, the technique itself is decorative and always it is the 
actual strokes or stitches of which the work consists that are used, with or 
without the addition of colour, to form patterns on the surface. The choice of 
decoration is therefore largely dictated by the stroke or stitch being used and 
may either be planned beforehand or as the work proceeds. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 147 

Decorative patterns may be produced either in self-colour by a change in 
the weave or stitch or even in the material, or by the introduction of a contrast- 
ing colour. Sometimes these are combined. 

CHANGE OF WEAVE OR STITCH 

Woven work 

On chequer 

Chequer weave does not lend itself easily to decoration in the weave unless 
colour is used. The following methods of introducing decorative bands or pat- 
terns, often in relief or diaper, have, however, been recorded: by changing to a 
different technique — twill or twine (122a, Fig. 79A), by changing the width of 
one set of elements (122b), which can be done only if the elements are soft; by 
lengthening certain strokes (122c); or by twisting warps across each other (122d). 
Only isolated examples of these styles have been recorded. 

Twill 

The weave itself is very decorative and gives infinite opportunity for variety 
in pattern, by altering the apparent direction (123a, Fig. 79B) or width of the 
twill, i.e. by going over more strokes (123b, Fig. 79C) or by altering the width of 
the elements (123c). (In one of the few examples of the latter that has been 
recorded, a separate band made with narrower elements was added.) Compara- 
tively little use is, however, made of this opportunity, and the examples so far 
recorded come from Mozambique or its neigbourhood, and from the eastern 
Okavango, where decorative bands of a different twill from the body of the 
work are used on palm-leaf pouches. In one isolated example from Natal, a dec- 
orative band was made by a change of weave, i.e. by a few rows of twining over 
crossed twill elements (123e). In another isolated example from Natal, one set of 
elements is overlaid and the overlay twisted at the intersections to give a spiny 
effect (123 d). 

Wicker 

There is little opportunity for this sort of decoration on wickerwork and the 
only examples that have been recorded were made by the Vazezuru, who in 
general show a great deal of outside influence. In these examples a band was 
made of several rows of twining on chequer (124, Fig. 79D). 

Twine 

Most twined work has some form of decoration, although the types of 
pattern are fairly uniform and consist most commonly of bands. As in chequer, 
it would be possible to introduce a band of a different weave but this has so far 
not been recorded. 

The use of a different sort of twine is, however, very common. This may be 
a plain band on a fancy ground (125a) or vice versa, or a pattern on a plain 



148 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



£L 




1 l| |l l| 


1 l 


n 


nh 


i ■ ■ ■ i 


i i 












J 4 




Fig. 79. A. Change of weave on chequer, 122a. B. On diagonal twill, altering length of 

strokes gives band of apparent change of direction, 123a. C. On straight twill, a pattern is 

made by changes in the width of the twill, 123b. D. Change of weave from chequer to twine on 

wicker chequer, 124. (In B and C shading is used here merely to show up the pattern). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 149 

ground (125b). The Southern Nguni split-warp technique is decorative in itself 
(4h-4l). Sometimes the whole work is carried out in this and sometimes alter- 
nate bands of plain and split-warp twining are used for decorative effect, or 
bands (125c, Fig. 80A) or geometric patterns (125d) of split-warp are used on 
the plain twine. 

Another decorative effect, frequently seen on food-mats, is obtained by 
twining alternately in the opposite direction (of twine, not of row) thereby 
giving a chain-stitch effect. This is sometimes used all over (4f), or in bands 
(125e, Fig. 80B) or patterns (125 f). Sometimes several styles are used in one 
piece of work (125h, Fig. 80C). 

The above twine decorations are very characteristic of the eastern Cape, 
Natal and Lesotho, and are also found among the Zambian immigrants. 

Bands of lattice twining (one strand) are put on to Fue plain twined 
baskets. By putting the lattice on the outside the bands are raised (125g). 

Very commonly the decoration is achieved by the manipulation of one or 
other of the sets of elements. 

The diaper patterns so frequently worked on twined food- and grain-mats 
are made by lengthening the stroke, i.e. by putting the wefts over two or three 
warps instead of the usual one and even crossing these wefts. Very often these 
patterns consist of bands (125i, Fig. 81C) or merely of regular or haphazard 
lines in any direction but, on finely worked specimens, regular patterns of 
chevron, zigzag, herring-bone or triangles are made (125), Fig. 81 A). On circu- 
lar ascending woven basketwork, this type of diaper pattern does not seem to 
have been used. Decorative lines, bands and, less commonly, patterns may be 
made by introducing a third weft strand into the twine, in which case each weft 
goes over three warps on the front and one on the back and makes a raised line 
on the front (125k, Fig. 81C). By introducing two extra wefts or one looped to 
work as two and threading them in and out of the twining, a line or a pattern 
(125n, Figs 81B, 82) of raised chain stitch effect is formed. 

The appearance of a line of knots may be given by interrupting the twine to 
wind the back twining weft round the front one and through to the back again 
(125o). 

The ornamental bulbs on top of South Sotho hats sometimes show a decor- 
ative change of stitch and the ridge at the widest circumference may be 
accentuated by tucking each warp under the next before moving each of them 
one or two warps to the left or right (55, 125p, Fig. 44). 

Close twined work may have open bands with the warps crossed (125r, 
Fig. 81D). 

Sleeping-mats composed of long warps held together by rows of open 
twining, allow of decoration by alternating bands of twining with free spaces 
(125 q), by bands of crossed warp (125s), or by twining a pattern in between 
two pairs of straight rows (125t). In one example from Natal, the fabric 
has been doubled in thickness by overlaying the warps. But this is hardly a 
decoration. 



150 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



B 




Fig. 80. 



A. Band of split-warp twine on plain twine, 125c. B. Band of chain stitch twine on 
plain, 125e. C. Band of several twined weaves on plain, 125h. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



151 




B 





Fig. 81. A. Decorative pattern by lengthening the stroke on twine, 125 j. B. Raised chain 

pattern on twine, 125n. C. Decorative band on split-warp twine by lengthened stroke and an 

extra weft, 125i, 125k. D. Crossing warps in spaces of open twine, 125r. 



152 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 82. Food-mat showing pattern of raised chain on twine; warp and weft of sedge. South 
Sotho, Leribe, Lesotho, 1958 (SAM-7995). Width 382 mm. 



Lattice twine 

On lattice twine decorative bands and patterns may be made by introducing 
a third weft (126). 



Plaited work 

In straight plaited work there is no opportunity for further decoration 
beyond that of the type of plait itself. 

In open extended plaited work, which is more or less confined to Lesotho, a 
more decorative effect may be obtained by lengthening and/or crossing the 
extensions (127a, 127b, Fig. 83 A). A different appearance may be given to both 
of these by tightening the strands unevenly (127c). Plain close extended plaiting 
may be decorated with a band of extended multiple plaiting (127d). 

Sewn work 

Straight sewn 

In straight sewn work with single foundation strands the only recorded dec- 
orations are: 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



153 





B 




Fig. 83. A. Crossed elements on open extended plait, 127b. B. Decorative chain-stitch stripe 
on straight sewing with composite foundation, 129a. C. Decorative stripe by changing direction 
of twists of composite foundation in straight sewing, 129d. D. Vertical lines by change of stitch 

in coiled sewn work, 130. 



154 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

by crossing the foundation strands between the lines of sewing. This is done on 
sleeping-mats, especially in Lesotho and also on South Sotho bale masks (for girl 
initiates), which are exactly similarly made (128a). 

by putting a 25 mm depth of lattice wrap at each end of a straight sewn mat (an 
isolated instance from the Northern Transvaal Ndebele) (128b). 

by arranging in a design the nodes of the split reeds used as straight sewn foun- 
dation by the Shona (128c) (this may be accidental). 

In straight sewn work with composite foundation strands, the only decor- 
ations recorded are on beer-strainers with foundation strands of two-ply or 
three-ply. Stripes may be made at fairly equal intervals by lengthening the twist 
of two or three strands (129b), or by twisting them in the opposite direction 
from the prevailing one (129d, Fig. 83C), or by doing this with alternate strands 
of two-ply cords only, which gives a chain-stitch effect (129a, Fig. 83B), or by 
putting in one or more strands of a different ply (129c). These styles are found 
mainly among the Sotho-Tswana. 

Coiled sewn 

In these techniques there is considerable opportunity for decoration 
through stitching. The most common is a series of vertical or radial lines, gener- 
ally fairly evenly spaced on the surface of the basket, but open lines (by missing 
one stitch), spiral lines, concentric bands and geometrical patterns equivalent to 
the diaper patterns of woven work, or an irregular mottled effect, may be made. 

The following methods have been recorded; with the exception of the 
lengthened stitch none is very common, but all are widespread: 

by change of stitch, e.g. vertical furcate stripes on simple oversewing (130, 
Fig. 83D). 

by sewing one or more stitches at the required intervals in each coil over an 
extra coil, thereby making a long stitch, which may also be in a different stitch 
from the main body (131, Fig. 84A). A decorative effect seen only on a Mpuku- 
shu coiled basket of simple oversewing is obtained by sewing a stitch over two 
coils at frequent but irregular intervals. There is no pattern but the mottled 
effect is very pleasing. The long-stitch method is very commonly used for radial 
stripes, which may be solid, by lengthening successive stitches, or open, by 
making a short stitch between two long stitches. This technique is very typical of 
Natal, but it is widespread and by far the commonest form. 

by splitting the stitch with the new stitch unevenly, but always in the same place, 
which gives the appearance of a little stripe going off at an angle (132). 

by doubling the stitch on single rod foundation, i.e. by sewing twice instead of 
once round the foundation into the space left (133). 

by wrapping a series of stitches each round its neighbour in a half hitch (134a, 
Fig. 84B) seen on a Mpondo beer basket where the motifs so made are spaced 
between vertical lines of lengthened stitches. An openwork pattern may be 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



155 






Fig. 84. A. Open stripe on sewn work by lengthening stitch, 131. B. Pattern bv half-hitching. 

134a. C. Beading, 135. 



made by wrapping the sewing round the foundation strands for a space and 
bending them into openwork patterns, which are held between two plain coils 
(134b). This is surely a modern innovation. 

by beading, i.e. by allowing a flat strand to weave in and out of the sewing 
stitch, which gives a chequer effect (755, Fig. 84C). It is rarely seen and is sus- 
pected to be of foreign influence. 

by overlaying, i.e. by laying a flat strand over the foundation before the sewing, 
so that the foundation shows through particularly smoothly (136). 



156 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

In addition to these specific patterns, the sewing itself is often decorative 
and by judicious spacing can be made more so (137). Furcate sewing, particu- 
larly, is often widely spaced to make a pretty radially or spirally striped effect. 

A very slight decoration seen on an Ambo basket was made by ending the 
sewing strand in the same place in each row and cutting it off not quite close to 
the surface, thereby making slight radial lines (138). 

If the sewing is done with tapering strands the effect is decorative (139). 

CHANGE OF MATERIAL, SAME COLOUR 

Woven and sewn work 

This is not common. It has been recorded in twined woven work on a Mpu- 
kushu coiled basket, where concentric bands of a different, twisted material 
were used on a plain ground (140); on a Huruthse coiled sewn basket, where 
concentric bands (141a) of untwisted different material were used on a ground of 
twisted material, and on an Ambo coiled basket, where a radial pattern (141b) 
was made by sewing with two-ply twisted cord of the palm fibre that is used 
plain for the rest of the sewing. 

INTRODUCTION OF COLOUR 

Coloured patterns are not very common, except in recent work where there 
has been foreign inspiration. Coloured patterns, which generally gain their effect 
by accentuating some aspect of the technique of the work, may be obtained 
either by using materials naturally different in colour or by turning the material 
inside out when the two sides have different colours, for example bark, or by 
dyeing the strands before use. In a specialized case, coloured beads may be 
introduced. The pattern is worked into the fabric and it is interesting to note 
that colour is nearly always introduced in the weft or sewing and not in the warp 
or foundation, but there are exceptions. Baskets that have a flat wooden rim 
may have a pattern branded on the rim, but there is no painting or stencilling of 
patterns in southern African basketwork. 

Frequently there are slight variations in shade in the same lot of material 
and these may be used to make some simple patterns or may do so accidentally. 
One interesting example of this is on a South Sotho coiled grain basket, where 
one end of each piece of sewing strand is considerably lighter than the other, so 
that in each ten or twelve centimetre section of each coil, there is a shading from 
light to dark and then a sharp recommencement at light (Fig. 88). 

The introduction of naturally different coloured materials is confined in this 
country to various reddish brown barks very common in the central area, a 
brown sedge, a light yellow reed as a contrast for brownish wood, occasionally 
ox- or horse-tail hair, or two slightly different shades of the same material as the 
ground-work. 

The colours obtained by dyeing are black, various shades of brown, yellow, 
mauve and red (see Materials). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 157 

Woven work 

Fabric 

In woven work the decoration may be either by having the two sets of ele- 
ments of different colours, which makes a decorative effect over the whole 
surface, or by the introduction of only a few coloured strands to make linear 
designs.. 

In chequer work most of the examples so far recorded have a check effect 
over the whole surface and most of them come from KwaZulu (142a). In each 
case, except one, the warp and weft are of different materials as well as different 
colours. In Zulu purses or spoon-bags, the weft is often of fine cord and 
the warp wider sedge or grass stems. A few examples with decorative bands 
(142b) have been seen, for example, Zulu spoon-bags, a Chopi mat, and a Man 
basket. 

An isolated example from KwaZulu has an open diamond pattern made by 
whipping the warps with different material and colour for a distance at the 
requisite places (142c). 

In twilled work there is endless scope for pattern by introducing coloured 
strands in place of a certain number of others. Nevertheless, it is not very much 
used, and most of the examples, both of all-over pattern (143a, Fig. 85 A) and of 
designs (143b), come from the Tsonga and Chopi, who use it particularly on 
pouches and sometimes on winnowing baskets, from the Venda, who use it on 
the mufharo baskets, and from the Okavango immigrants, who use the all-over 
pattern on winnowing baskets. In recent examples of this, coloured plastic has 
been used. 

In wickerwork only one example of a coloured pattern has been recorded, 
except among the Vazezuru of Botswana, where it is almost certainly intro- 
duced. The one example is a band of the same material dyed black on a Mari 
chequer wicker garden basket (144, Fig. 85B). 

In twined work very simple colour decoration has been noted — generally a 
solid or broken line made by introducing a pair of coloured strands or one in a 
pair or three. Decoration of the whole surface by using one or both wefts of a 
different colour has been recorded only from Natal and the Okavango (145a, 
145b). In circular work concentric rings or bands may be made in this way 
(145c). If both of the pair of wefts or each of three wefts are coloured, and several 
rows worked, a solid band is made (145 d, 145e). In the Transkei ox- or horse- 
tail hair or a dark brown sedge is used, and, for solid bands, slightly different 
shades of the same material as the ground work. Sometimes the stroke is altered 
as well as the colour (145 f, Fig. 85C). 

Twining is a quite suitable medium for squares or geometrical patterns in 
colour of one or both wefts, as the wefts can be finished off and need not com- 
plete a row (145c, 145d, Fig. 86A). This is often seen on Zulu food-mats. One 
isolated example from KwaZulu has a pattern made by overlaying one of the 
pair of wefts with different coloured material (145g, Fig. 86B). 



158 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



XX^XXXXXXVXXXV 



/ ./ / / / / / / / / / / / / / 



/// / / / / / / 

xwswwwwv 

"/// / / / / / / 7777/ 






^^^^^^^ 




Fig. 85. A. Introduction of colour over whole surface of twill, 143a. B. Band of colour in 
chequer wicker, 144. C. Decorative band of different colour and material, and lengthened 

stroke on twine, 145 f. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



159 




t \ 

Begin Begin 
brown white 




B 

Fig. 86. A. Geometric design on twine with two different coloured wefts, 145d. B. Overlaying 

in colour on twine, 145g. 



Warps may also be whipped with a strand of a different colour, to make a 
design (145h). 

In plaited work chevron patterns in either direction could be made by the 
introduction of coloured strands. This has, however, not been found. The only 
example found of decoration in a plaited fabric is on the sleeping-mat from 
Mozambique already described (p. 144). In this special case, where separate 
plaits are joined together to form the whole, horizontal stripes of plain colour 
can be made by making some of the plaits entirely coloured (146). 

In three-strand lattice twined work, bands and patterns are made by having 
one or more of the strands in a different material dyed. This was recorded 
among the Subia of the Okavango (147a-c). 



160 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Coloured edges on woven work 

The only example recorded is from the Lala of Natal where the edge of a 
food-mat is oversewn in blanket stitch with a material of different colour (148). 



Sewn work 

In the fabric of straight sewn work there is little scope for the introduction 
of colour, either in foundation or sewing. The only instances of coloured foun- 
dation recorded are on beer-strainers from the Nguni, Tsonga and Sotho, where 
a series of stripes is made by using coloured foundation strands (149a, 
Fig. 87 A). The examples look influenced. There is no instance recorded of 
coloured sewing. In the south, however, certain belts and headbands, in which 
the technique is straight sewn with composite foundation of twined cords or 
plaits and only two or three foundation strands, have the sewing strand dec- 
orated with beads that hold the foundation strands widely apart (149b, 
Fig. 87B). The narrow headbands may have an edging of beads made by thread- 
ing one bead on the sewing strand whenever it emerges at the edge (Fig. 87B, 
C). Patterns are introduced by means of the colour of the beads, generally alter- 
nating stripes or blocks of different colour. 

On a Zulu mat, a decoration that seems to be modern is the wrapping of 
the end foundation strands with material of a different colour — in the only 
instance recorded this is brown cord (149c). 

In coiled work there is ample scope for coloured bands and radial patterns, 
or all-over light and dark patterns. In most cases the colour is introduced by 
making a certain number of coloured stitches in every coil or every few coils, 
according to plan. The following are the ways so far recorded of introducing 
colour in coiled work — each way naturally allows of numerous variations. 

Foundation: concentric bands may be made by changing the colour of the 
foundation for one or more coils. The sewing must then be spaced to let the 
foundation show through (150a). Only two examples of this were seen, from the 
Thembu and the Tshangana-Tsonga, and these may well have been influenced 
by overlaying — that is, the laying of a coloured strand over the foundation 
before the stitch, which thus goes over it. This is suitable for bands or designs, 
but has only been recorded on two hats, one Southern Sotho and one Tswana 
(150b, Fig. 87D, 150c). 

Sewing: by sewing the whole basket with a strand of colour that contrasts 
with the foundation and by spacing the stitches widely. This is often used with a 
furcate stitch, which lends itself well to striped effects. So far this has been 
recorded among the Natal Nguni and Swazi, the Tsonga, Tswana, Venda and 
Mpukushu (151a). The Sarwa near Serowe were making similarly decorated 
baskets, but these were Ngwato style and made for sale to the Ngwato. 

by using a sewing strand that varies in colour from one end to another. This 
makes a natural mottled effect, with a change of colour at the beginning of each 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



161 



B 




Fig 87. A. Decorative stripes of coloured foundation strands, straight sewing 149a 
B-C. Introduction of beads on straight sewn work, 149b. D. Band of overlaying in different 

colour, different material, 150b. 



162 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

new strand (151b, Fig. 88). This was only recorded among Southern Sotho and 
Tswana and the people of the eastern Kavango. 

by sewing one or more coils of the basket with a different colour from the rest to 
make single or concentric rings, or bands of colour (151c). If wide spacing or 
knot-stitching is used, the line or band becomes striped in two colours (15 Id). 
This has a fairly wide distribution, except in Zimbabwe. 

by putting one or two coloured stitches directly or diagonally above the other at 
intervals in succeeding coils, to make radial stripes or to trace a thin line pattern 
(15 le). This is not commonly seen, but has a wide distribution. 




Fig. 88. Basket showing natural variation in colour in sewing strand, giving mottled effect, 
151b. South Sotho, Leribe, Lesotho, 1958 (SAM-8005). Height 179 mm. 

by sewing with coloured strands, for requisite short distances, to make a series 
of motifs — squares, rectangles, triangles, or odd shapes, generally geometrical, 
either regularly over the whole surface or in concentric radial patterns (757/, 
Fig. 89 A; 15 lg), or at odd irregular intervals. The concentric patterns are fre- 
quently seen and widespread, but especially favoured in Botswana. The 
irregularly spaced patterns are uncommon and mostly confined to Botswana. 

by beading — that is the insertion of a strip of coloured material so that it passes 
over and under one or more stitches of the sewing (152a, 152b, Fig. 89B, C). If 
several rows are made, patterns analogous to those of twilled weaving may be 
created. Only isolated instances of this have been found — so far apart as to 
make one suspect foreign influence. 

by the introduction of beads — by threading beads over the sewing strand before 
use. Only one example was seen, among the Ndau, where the beads were intro- 
duced on the last coil (153). 

by wrapping the edges of straight sewn articles (154) or oversewing the final or 
last two rows of coiled baskets (755) with material of a different colour. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



163 





B 




Fig. 89. 



A. Geometric motifs in a different colour, 151 f. B. Band of beading in different 
colour, 152a. C. Geometric motif by beading in different colour, 152b. 



ALTERATION OF SHAPE 

A purely decorative modern tendency in Southern Sotho conical hats is to 
alter their shape by surmounting them w'\\\\ fancy knobs (156). The technique of 
these is generally the same as the body of the work, but sometimes plaited or 
hitched bands are taken out in loops to enhance the knob. The origin of the 
latter is said to have been Queen Victoria's crown as seen on coins. 



164 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

ORNAMENTATION 

'Ornamentation' as distinct from 'decoration' is used here to mean some- 
thing added after the work and separate from it. It is comparatively rare on 
southern African basketwork and nearly always indicates foreign influence. It is 
often utilitarian. 

Ornament may be made of the same materials as the body or of different 
materials. 

Colouring 

Colour is sometimes painted on the outside or underside of baskets, but it is 
hard to say whether this is purely ornamental or intended, as in the case of the 
use of dung, as a protective or water-proofing treatment. The only people 
amongst whom this has so far been noted are the Tsonga, Chopi and Tswana. In 
one case of an Ngwato basket, the colour was definitely ornamental (157). The 
Tsonga in Mozambique use a paste obtained from mangrove bark. One basket 
was seen in Zimbabwe where two rings of colour had been applied to the wefts 
of a wicker basket. 

Embroidery 

A type of ornament that was very popular on the grass arm-bands and belts 
of the south-eastern people, is a series of raised bands of twisted grass or sinew 
cord, knotted on the outside of the object (158a). 

Coloured wool, braid and other materials have been used latterly as orna- 
mentation on hats, spoon-bags and the edges of mats. This is a modern 
development and not very common (158b). 

Sometimes the coloured material is tied on, but more often it is oversewn or 
whipped on (158c, Figs 90A, C). This latter is sometimes seen on straight sewn 
sleeping-mats, where wrapping or twining with coloured materials is also done 
after the work is finished. 

Whipped and sewn embroidery with palm-leaf was seen in huts of the 
Tembe in northern KwaZulu (158c, 158d, Fig. 90B, C). This was said to have 
been done by an itinerant builder. It is usually found in the homes of important 
people (Cunningham & Gwala 1986). 

An example of sewn embroidery (158d) has been recorded on a coiled Zulu 
basket, on which an arrowhead shape had been sewn, each stitch being taken 
over five coils. 

Most rarely recorded of all is embroidery with the same or similar material 
to that of the fabric; this has been seen on a Himba basket and a Mpukushu 
mat. 

Carved or branded 

Where baskets have a wooden band or rim, there is opportunity for carved 
(159, Fig. 91 A) or branded (160, Fig. 91B) ornamentation, but so far this has 
only been recorded from among the Hlengwe and the Ndau of Zimbabwe. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



165 






Fig. 90. A. Whipped embroidery in colour, 158c. B. Cross-stitch oversewing with palm-leaf, 

over lattices of hut wall, 158d. C. Whipped embroidery with palm-leaf over circular lattices of 

the ceiling of the same hut, 158c. Tembe, Mselini, KwaZulu, 1970. 



166 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




B 




Fig. 91. A. Carving on rim, 159. B. Branding on rim, 160. 



Extra lattices 

On a chequer basket of the Ambo, and on a lattice twined basket of the 
Fue with the lattices inside, extra lattices were put on the outside, as ornamental 
bands (161). 



Beads and buttons 

Beyond these, the only pure ornament so far recorded is beadwork (163, 
Fig. 92A-D) and the use of brass buttons (162, Fig. 92A). On actual baskets it is 
rare. One specimen recorded is a small basket bowl from Maun, Botswana; 
round the outside of the mouth are four rows of beads, in alternate patches of 
blue and pink. From this band small, hanging, beadwork ornaments are sus- 
pended at intervals. The Nkuna of Tzaneen area make twilled lids for coiled 
conical baskets and both lid and basket are beaded in strands and fringes, or a 
cover of beadwork fabric may be put over the lid. These seem to be made as 
presents, especially for weddings. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



167 




Fig. 92. A. Ornamentation with brass buttons, 162, and beads, 163b. B. Spoon-bag orna- 
mented with beads, 163a. C-D. Belts with beads sewn on after completion, 163b, as well as 

during work, 149b. 



168 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

On the small bags, purses and spoon-bags made in KwaZulu, and also on 
small mats for various purposes, rows or fringes of beads are sometimes used 
(163a, Figs 92B, 101). 

The most common use of beads for ornament on basketwork, however, is 
on personal ornaments (163b, Fig. 92A, C, D), which occur for the most part in 
the south. In some cases it is hard to draw the line between basketwork and 
beadwork. On the basketwork belts worn in Natal, KwaZulu and Lesotho, and 
which are straight sewn with a composite plaited foundation element, beadwork 
(163b) and brass buttons (162) seem to have taken the place of the presumably 
older knotted ornament (125o, see p. 149). Sometimes beads or brass buttons 
are sewn on the outer surface in striped patterns, and sometimes the whole 
outer surface is covered with beads. When beads are used alone there is no sign 
of their attachment on the back of the work, which is perfectly smooth, but if 
brass buttons are used their eyes are pushed through the work and secured on 
the back, sometimes with a bead. Headbands from the Lesotho border, of 
straight sewn technique with edgings of beads, one bead being threaded on to 
the sewing strand whenever it emerges, may have another row of beads sewn 
down the centre of the outer surface (Fig. 92D). Finally, rows and fringes of 
beads often decorate the small straight sewn mats used as masks by the girl 
initiates in Lesotho. Bead ornamentation is at its most vigorous in the east of the 
country. 

SHAPES 

In southern African basketwork, shape is rarely ornamental and, for the 
most part, is dictated by the use to which the object is to be put and, to some 
extent, by the material as well. The former is obvious in such things as huts, 
mats, sledges, fish-traps, birdcages, bracelets, bags, hats and strainers, but it can 
also be seen in actual baskets. 

UTILITARIAN ADDITIONS 

Lids 

When they occur, lids are generally plain rather than ornamental (164, 
Figs 93, 94). They are frequently separate from the body and serve some other 
purposes as well, such as winnowing trays or drinking cups. In the south, when a 
lid is needed, a shallow basket bowl is generally inverted over the top of the 
other vessel. In Botswana, lids with small, more or less ornamental knobs are 
used. This latter is possibly a recent development. 

Handles 

Loops. The apparently indigenous form of handle, if such it can be called, 
is a loop of twisted sedge, grass or other fibre or of thong, attached either to the 
edge, or to the centre bottom of the article, by means of which it can be hung up 
(165). 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



169 




Fig. 93. Lid on coiled sewn basket, 164. 



Cords are almost exclusively seen on twilled pouches. They serve 
both as handles and to hold in place the lid, which slides up and down the cord 
(166a-166f, Fig. 95 A). They may be attached in a variety of ways, most of 
which are on the outside of the lower portion and ornamental. They always run 
up inside the lid, finishing outside on top, sometimes through a flat piece of wood. 

Stiff handles (167a, 167b, Fig. 95B, C), as distinct from cords, have not 
been recorded on uninfluenced indigenous work. They occur quite frequently in 
influenced work which is, however, commonly used. In woven work they may be 
made by extending two opposite warps, and in coiled work by taking a loop out 
of the coil foundation. In either woven or coiled work they may be sewn on. 
Some skimming spoons have been recorded with an ornamental ring handle at 
the end of the shaft; this is, in fact, an extension of the warps, sewn into a ring. 

Hinges 

The lid of certain types of basket may be hinged on to the body in one or 
two places, either by means of simple strands (168, Fig. 96A) or by means of a 



170 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





Fig. 94. A, C. Lids on twilled baskets, 164. B, D. Cross-sections illustrating fit. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



171 






Fig. 95. A. Cord handle on pouch, knotted outside, runs inside, 166a. B. Stiff handle on 
woven work, 167a. C. Stiff handle on sewn work, 167b. 



172 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





Fig. 96. A-B. On twined work, lid hinged by three strands, 168. C. On sewn work, lid hinged 
by corresponding loops and a ring, 169. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 173 

loop in corresponding positions on each and fastened with a ring (169, 
Fig. 96C). In the latter case, as used by the Ronga near Maputo, the loops are 
made of the ordinary grass or split palm-leaf foundation, closely bound round in 
chequer weave with palm-leaf. They are decorated with beading in black. 

Rims 

Rims consisting of flat wooden hoops have already been discussed under 
'edges' (80). They may be termed ornamental if they are ornamented or if they 
are made wider than is functionally necessary, to give an ornamental effect (170, 
Fig. 63). 

Feet 

An addition that may be modern and is fairly rare is a foot or stand, seen 
occasionally on small baskets in the Kavango territory. It is coiled, like the rest 
of the basket and is, in effect, a straight or slanting rim at the bottom of the 
basket (171). It seems to be a foreign element from north of the Okavango. 

In KwaZulu, three small pieces of wood may be sewn on to the bottom of a 
small basket to act as feet when it stands on its own, or as a handle when it is 
used as a lid (172, Fig. 97 A). Or a solid ring of wood (173, Fig. 97B) or a thick 
plait may be attached (174, Fig. 97C). 

BASKETS 

Garden baskets 

Throughout the southern African region, these are small at the base and 
wide at the top, thus allowing a good load to be packed in, and helping to 
balance the basket on the head (175, Fig. 98). They may be conical, flanging or 
bowl-shaped. They frequently have a concave base to fit the head. This base is 
commenced as it were inside out and, when deep enough, the warps are turned 
up or the sewn coils similarly placed, so that the cone is inside. 

Other utensils and containers 

Food bowls are shallow and wide-mouthed. Beer baskets, for drinking beer, 
are fairly straight-sided and wide-mouthed (176, Fig. 99); containers (777) for 
storing beer, like bins for storing grain, close in at the top to a small mouth 
(Fig. 100), and usually have a lid. 

Otherwise, the only baskets in which the shape is not entirely conditioned 
by the use are the Venda and Lobedu twilled carrying baskets, where the waist 
is ornamental, but at the same time not unconnected with the technique — there 
would have to be a join somewhere (Fig. 4). 

Certain shapes have been adopted from the fashions of other cultures with 
which the people have come in contact. Examples of this are rectangular 
baskets, baskets with hinged lids, and the addition of handles. 



174 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





Fig. 97. A. Small pieces of wood at base of basket, as feet or handle, 172. B. Wooden ring 
sewn on base of basket as a foot, 173. C. A plaited ridge as foot on a basket, 174. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



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176 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 99. Utensil, 176. Beer-beaker, Mpondo, Flagstaff district, Transkei 1932 (UCT 32/41). 

Height 292 mm. 



OBJECTS OTHER THAN BASKETS 

Bags 

Bags (178, Fig. 101) are of different sizes, but differ in shape only according 
to the ratio between length and width. 

Bracelets 

Bracelets (179, Fig. 102) are straight bands and differ only in width. 

Birdcages 

Birdcages (180, Fig. 6) have no special shape. 

Fish-traps 

Fish-traps (181, Fig. 14) are nearly always conical in shape, but there are 
some like little fences. 

Food- and grain-mats 

These (182, Figs 8, 82; 183) may be round, half-oval, rectangular — which is 
most common — square, or apron-shaped. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



177 




Fig. 100. Containers, 177. A. Small lidded basket. Natal Nguni, Nkhandla, 1941 

(SAM-6201). Greatest diameter 160 mm. B. Large container, Zulu, Melmoth, 1965 

(SAM-9215). Height c. 550 mm. 



178 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 101. Bag for spoons, 775, decorated with white beads, 163a, 
Zulu, no locality, 1938 (UCT 38/19). Length 255 mm. 




Fig. 102. Bracelet, 179, 'Mpondo, Flagstaff, Transkei, 1901 
(SAM-249). Width of fabric 30 mm. 



Hats 

It used to be said that the shape of South Sotho hats (184, Fig. 103) was dic- 
tated to some extent by whether they were to be worn in sunshine (in which case 
they were wide brimmed) or rain (in which case they were conical), but this 
seems to be no longer the case, if ever it was, and the conical hat has become a 
national symbol. In other groups, hats are mainly wide-brimmed. 

Huts 

Before the spread of mud walls, the frames of walls and roofs of huts were, 
with some exceptions, wattlework (185, Fig. 104). In some places there was a 
woven top-knot on the roof. 



Sledges 

Sledges (186, 
wooden base. 



Fig. 15) have wattlework walls built on to the V-shaped 



Sleeping-mats 

Sleeping-mats (187, Fig. 105) are rectangular, although some Xhosa some- 
times make one end rounded. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



179 




Fig. 103. Hat, 184, Southern Sotho, Leribe, 1958 (SAM-7987). Height 320 mm. 




Fig. 104. Framework of hut, 185, Karanga, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, 1967. 



180 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

l ■■'M\:hu^ :'■<>■ \i'dd-: H k :)*,,■ J\. y -'^ 7;v,,,'-Av ■''■■,.;,; 'd.;^::^.-^'.. 

, / ' X:y! I ; >:' : :)- :'^k, '\' yVy V. Vf:*. \.- ■. ' ,y . A ^^ <-..\ 










dK(^:^yy y - 



Fig. 105. Sleeping-mat, 257, Tswana, Thaba Nchu, 1978. 




Fig. 106. Skimming-spoon, 255, Zulu, Eshowe, Natal, 1961 (SAM-8398). Diameter of bowl 

100 mm. 



Spoons 

The basketwork spoons used as skimmers for beer (188, Fig. 106) are gen- 
erally rather more ornamental in shape than is strictly necessary for their 
purpose. 



Strainers 

Strainers are tubular and their shapes differ only at the narrow base (189., 
Figs 19, 107), which may be tucked in, bound or sewn into a straight projection. 
They are used mainly for straining beer, but small examples for straining por- 
ridge have been seen. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



181 




Fig. 107. Beer-strainer, 189, Xolo, Port Shepstone, 1939 (SAM-6010(3)). 



TOOLS 



Basketwork is done by hand and very few tools are used. 



PREPARATION 

In preparation of the materials, a knife (nowadays often a penknife) or 
spear blade is necessary to cut them and split them ready for use. For heavy 
stakes that are the warps of wattlework hut frames or sledges an axe or an adze 
is needed. The splitting of small strands may be done with an awl (Fig. 108A) 
or, nowadays, even a pin may be used. Where reeds have to be flattened before 
use, they are cut once down the length and opened out and, at least among the 
Mpukushu and Kuangari, hammered flat with a mallet (Fig. 108C). A mallet or 
a piece of wood is used by Tsonga to flatten the ridges made by sewing plaited 
strips together to make a mat or basket. 



182 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 





Fig. 108. Tools. A. Awl, Lobedu, Duiwelskloof, 1936 (SAM-9742). Length 147 mm. 

B. Core of grass for beer-strainer, Zulu, Nongoma, 1970. C. Mallet, Kuangari, Lupala, 

Kavango, 1961 (SAM-8512). Length 384 mm. D. Needle, Nama, Fransfontein, Namibia, 

1923 (SAM-UCT 23/138). Length 255 mm. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 183 

WORKING 

Woven work 

In the actual work, woven techniques need no tools, but a knife or blade is 
used for cutting off the loose ends. A core of grass is used for shaping woven 
beer-strainers (Fig. 108B) or Zulu chequer weave spoon-bags; latterly a bottle 
has been used for this purpose. 

Sewn work 

Sewn techniques, however, need an awl or needle (Fig. 108 A, D) for the 
actual sewing. In straight work, a needle may be used to pierce the foundation 
strands; it has an eye through which the strand is passed and by means of which 
it is drawn through the foundation strands. It is recorded of the Khoi that a 
needle and an awl were used, the latter to pierce the foundation strands and then 
turn on its side to hold the hole open while the needle was pushed through. This 
method was seen among the Hlubi too. Sewn beer-strainers are made on a core 
of grass (Fig. 108B), at least in Lesotho and Transkei. 

In coiled sewn work, the choice of an awl or a needle depends on the close- 
ness of the work. If it is loose and the foundation is of grass, a needle may be 
used to pull the sewing strand through. If it is close sewing of hard materials, an 
awl will be used to make a hole through the foundation and the stiff sewing 
strand will be inserted through the hole. Sometimes the forward end of the 
sewing strand will be cut to a point to facilitate this, or the stiff er root portion of 
sedge left on for this purpose. 

Both straight and coiled work have to be trimmed when finished and a knife 
is used to cut off the loose ends. Latterly the Thembu have used shears for this 
purpose. 

The material of which awls and needles are made varies. Most awls are of 
iron nowadays, but wood, bone and thorn, especially the sharp point of an aloe 
leaf, or the sharp spike of a palm-leaf, are used. Some have handles, some not. 
Nails are often put into handles for use as awls. Umbrella spokes, flattened and 
pointed at one end, make very good needles. 

MATERIALS 

The materials used in Southern African basketwork are as numerous and 
varied as the tools are few, and are obtained almost entirely from plants. 
Dressed skin is sometimes used for bindings or for bases, sinew thread is some- 
times used for sewing, and ox- or other tail hair, brass buttons and beads are 
sometimes used for decoration and ornamentation, but the bulk of the materials 
come from plants. 

In many cases the materials are available near or not impossibly far from 
the maker's home, but many areas are being over-exploited and the need to 
import from another part of the country is sufficient to encourage some people 
in the suitable environments to grow material for sale. 



184 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



The preparation of each type of material varies but, in general, most of 
them, before use, are soaked in water for a certain time; this varies according to 
material and custom. The materials are used damp, to prevent splitting or crack- 
ing. In addition, the worker usually has a container of water nearby and keeps 
wetting the hands. Thin material is often kept in this water until used, or 
wrapped in something to keep it damp. One woman was seen to warm the water 
for the start of the basket. 

Record of the materials used is far from complete, for which reason it has 
been thought best to list them according to the parts used rather than to make 
an alphabetical list of the botanical names of the plants so far identified. 

Materials collected in the field are marked by the place name, and were 
identified by the National Botanic Gardens, Kirstenbosch. The names listed 
under 'Author' are those of other informants or sources. 

STEMS 

Grass: family Gramineae — various genera 

True grass stems are comparatively seldom used for either element in 
woven work; there are few objects for which the majority of grasses would be 
strong enough. However, grass stems, that is the stems of the inflorescence, are 
used for the plaited grass bracelets and necklets popular throughout the country. 
For these a shiny yellow-stemmed grass is preferred. Thin tough grass stems are 
used for South Sotho sun-hats of extended plait technique. 

By far the most common use of grass is as a coil foundation for coiled bas- 
ketry. When the foundation is to be completely or almost completely covered, 
the choice of grass need not be so particular, but on hats of boater shape and on 
certain baskets shiny stems are carefully selected for the foundation, so that in 
showing through the stitches they add to the decorative effect. 

Fine grass stems may be plaited as a sewing strand for coiled work. Stronger 
grass is plaited to make ropes. 

Grass stems need little or no preparation. They are sometimes used green, 
particularly for ornaments or hats, and sometimes dried first and dampened for 
use. 

The following grasses have been identified: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


*Andropogon amplectans Nees 


sewing of coiled work 


Zulu 


Melmoth 




* Andropogon cymbarius L. 


sleeping-mats 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 


Aristida sp. 


coil foundation; weft of 
grain-bin 


Zulu 


Melmoth 
Hlabisa 






warps 


Biyela 


Nkhandla 






broom 


Zulu 


Babanango 






coil foundation 


Ambo 


Oshikango 




Aristida congesta Roem. & 


baskets, food-mats 


Zulu 




Grossert 


Schult. 








(1967) 



•See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



185 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Aristida junciformis Trin. & 


brooms 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 




Rupr. 










*Crinipes gynoglossa Goossens 


sewing strand for coiled 
work 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 




Cymbopogon sp. 


coil foundation of bin for 
groundnuts 


Lenge 


Masiyene 


Earthy 
(1933) 


Cynodon sp. 


bangles 


Hlengwe 


Sabi-Lundi 




Digitaria' eriantha Stend. 


ornaments 


Zulu 


* Natal 


Gerstner 
(1938: 
223) 




sewing of coiled work 


Zulu 


Hlabisa 






baskets, beer-strainers 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 




sewn beer-strainers 


Thulini 


Appelsl^osch 






sewing of coiled work 


Tembe 


Sodwana 




*Digitaria littoralis Stent. 


ornaments 


Thembu 




Beukes 

(1937) 


Digitaria milanjiana (Rendle) 


plaited bangles 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 




Stapf. 










Eragrostis curvula Nees 


ropes and grain-bins 


Zulu 


Melmoth 


Gerstner 
(1939: 
58, 1941: 
381) 




baskets, ornaments, grain- 


Zulu 




Grossert 




bins, plaited rope 






(1967) 


Eragrostis gummiflua Nees 


coil foundation 


S. Sotho 


Lesotho 






coil foundation 


S. W. 
Tswana 


Botswana 






coil foundation 


Ngwato 


Serowe 




Eragrostis pallens Hack 


coil foundation 


general 


Botswana 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 




coil foundation 


Sarwa 


Nata R. 


Ebert 

(1978) 


Eragrostis plana Nees 


ropes, mats 


Zulu 


Melmoth 






coil foundation 


Zulu 


Nongoma 






sewing 


Zulu 


Mahlabatini 






sewn baskets 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 




grain-mats 


Swazi 


Ohlangotini 




Festuca costata Nees 


coil foundation 


Ndebele 


Esigodini 
(Essexvale) 


McCalman 
(pers. 
comm.) 




coil foundation 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 






warp of grain-mats 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 




Hyparrhenia sp. 


coil foundation 


Hlubi 


Sigogo 






sewing for grain-bin 


Venda 


Ndzehele 




Hyparrhenia filipendula Stapf 


roof mat 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 




part of initiation costume 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 


Davison 
(1984) 




large grain-bin 


Venda 


Ndzehele 




Hyparrhenia hirta Stapf 


grain-bins, bangles 


Zulu 


Natal 


Grossert 
(1967) 




bangles 


Tlokwa 


Bochum 






bangles 


N. Sotho 


Lydenburg 





See Appendix 3 for current name. 



186 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Hyparrhenia rufa (Nees) Stapf 


grain-bins 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 


Ischaemum fasciculatum 


plaited rope 


Zulu 


Natal 




Brongn. 










*Ischaemum arcuatum (Nees) 


baskets, beer-strainers 


Zulu 




Grossert 


Stapf 








(1967) 


Loudetia simplex (Nees) C. E. 


plaiting bangles 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 




Hubbard 










* Miscanthidium capense Stapf 


rough mats 


Xhosa 


Umtata 




Oplismenus sp. 


'baskets' 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 
(1939: 
314) 




food-mats, baskets 


Zulu 


Natal 


Grossert 
(1967) 


Pogonarthria falcata Rendle 


garden baskets 


S. Sotho 


Lesotho 




Pogonarthria squarrosa (Licht.) 


coil foundation 


Ndebele 


Esigodini 


McCalman 


Pilger 






(Essexvale) 


(pers. 






S. Sotho 


Teyateyanen£ 


; comm.) 


Rhynchelytrum repens C. E. 


coil of nest for hens 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 




Hubb 










* Rhynchelytrum setifolium 


baskets 


Zulu 




Grossert 


Chiov. 








(1967) 


*Sporobolus indicus Stapf 


coil foundation 


Zulu 
Zulu 


Nongoma 
Hlabisa 




Sporobolus pyrimidalis Beauv. 


coil foundation of hats, 


S. Nguni 


Transkei 






coil foundation of baskets 


Hlubi 


Sigogo 






with plaited sewing 










coil foundation 


Ximba 


Mahlabatini 






coil foundation 


Koni 


Northern 
Transvaal 




Themeda triandra Forsk. 


grain-bin 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 


* Tricholaena setifolia Stapf 


coil foundation; wefts of 
grain-bins 


Zulu 


Melmoth 





* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



Reeds: family Gramineae — genera Phragmites and Arundenaria 

The stems of river reeds {Phragmites australis (Cuv.) Trin. ex Steud.), the 
indigenous bamboo (Arundenaria tesselata Munro), and the introduced bamboo 
(Bambus vulgaris Schreb.) are used in various types of basketwork, especially in 
the north. 

Thin reed stems were used by the Naron of Sandfontein for the warps of the 
reed sieves that they used for sieving white ants' larvae, and are said to have 
been used by the Southern San for fish traps. 

Reed stems are split and flattened out for weaving coarse twilled matting in 
the north-west. This seems to be an Angolan style and is found among people 
with Angolan affinities: Kuangari, Bunja, Sambiu, Diriko, Mpukushu. The 
matting may be used for sleeping mats, roofing mats, screens, grain-bins and 
sledges. Reeds are used for another type of sleeping mat, made in Zimbabwe, in 
which the reeds are flattened out, but are sewn through side by side instead of 
being woven. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 187 

Strips of split reed are used quite extensively for baskets — generally in 
check or twilled weave — in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the north of Botswana, 
where influence from Zimbabwe and Angola is apparent. Winnowing baskets 
and similar shapes, which further south are always twilled of slivers of wood, are 
there frequently made of reed strips, which are also used for strengthening rims. 

Reeds and bamboo are prepared by drying, cleaning, sorting, and splitting 
or slitting and beating flat. They are used whole, especially for one or more ele- 
ments of doors, or for filling in walls in the north and east, and also as the warps 
of fish traps. Their shiny yellow surface is very decorative. 

The following species have been identified so far: 

Species Use Group Place Author 

Pennisetum purpureum warp and weft of twilled Ndau Ngorima, 

Schumach baskets Chimanimani 

(Melsetter) 

Phragmites mauritanus Kunth. Zimbabwe 

Sedges: families Cyperaceae (Fig. 109) and Juncaceae 

These are probably the most fruitful source of material for basketwork in 
southern Africa — particularly so in the south where in some parts they are used 
almost exclusively. The long, smooth, tough stems of the inflorescence are emi- 
nently suited to many types of work. Many species of both families are used. So 
important are they that they form an item of trade to areas where they do not 
naturally grow. For this purpose they may be collected or actually cultivated. 

Sedge stems are used whole, most commonly for sleeping mats or for the 
roofing mats of the San and Khoikhoi. They form the single warps or the foun- 
dation elements, with twined wefts or straight sewing through. The material is 
used in the same form and technique for the veils worn by girls at their initiation 
ceremonies in Lesotho. Less commonly, and in twined work only, several sedge 
stems go to each warp. 

Whole sedge stems also furnish the warps for most of the woven baskets 
and bags in the south-east, and for many of the food- and grain-mats wherever 
these are made. Sedge stems are used practically exclusively for the wefts of 
these woven baskets, bags and mats, but it varies according to the thickness of 
the stem and the taste of the maker, whether they are used whole, split in half, 
or split in half and the pith removed. 

Split and de-pithed sedge stems are used in various parts of the country for 
oversewing in coiled basketwork, including hats, where a flat stitch is wanted. 
They are also plaited into braids for certain types of ornament. A Shona bag is 
twilled of split, de-pithed and flattened sedge stems, and so is a Pedi beer- 
strainer. 

Stems of thinner smaller sedges are greatly used in the centre and north and 
are twisted into one- or two-ply cords for oversewing in coiled work. Sedge stem 



188 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



stf^nra 



mm* 












Fig. 109. Sedge (Cyperus textilis Thunb.), Cape. 



cords of rather stronger species furnish the material for the beer-strainers of the 
straight sewn type. 

The sedges are generally cat and carried home in bundles, then laid out in 
the sun to dry, sometimes on the roof of a hut. The Nama soak the stems in 
water to draw out the tannin and make them more durable. When dry, the 
unsuitable stems are sorted out. It depends on the use to which they are to be 
put whether they are then used as they are, split, beaten flat, de-pithed or 
twisted into cords. They are dampened before use. 

The species so far recorded are: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Cyperus alternifolius L. subsp. 


warp of sleeping-mats, 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 


McCalman 


flabelliformis (Rottb.) 


warp and weft of food- 






(pers. 


Kiikenth. 


mats, sewing of coiled 
baskets 






comm.) 


* Cyperus comp actus Lam. 


ornaments 


Naron 


Sandfontein 


Bleek 

(1928) 


Cyperus corymbosus Rottb. 


beer-strainers 


Lobedu 


Modjadji, 
Duiwels- 
kloof 





■See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



189 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



Cyperus esculentus L. 



Cyperus fastigiatus Rottb. 
Cyperus immensus C.B. CL 



Cyperus latifolius Poir 



Cyperus margaritaceus Vahl 
Cyperus natalensis Hochst. 



Cyperus papyrus L. 



Cyperus sexangularis Nees 



Cyperus textilis Thunb. 



sleeping-mats, food-mats. 


Zulu 




Grossert 


baskets 






(1967) 


sleeping-mats 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 


McCalman 
(pers. 
comm.) 


mats 


Zulu 


Eshowe 




baskets 


Tsonga 


Gazankulu 




baskets 


S. Tsonga 


*Sodwana 




food-mats 


Natal 


Natal 


Marianhill 




Nguni 




(1900- 
1910) 


sleeping-mats 


Xhosa 


Willowvale 






Mpondo 


Umvume 
Springs 






Zulu 


Eshowe 






Zulu 


Hlabisa 






Zulu 


Mahlabatini 






Venda 


Nzhelele 




girls' ritual dresses 


Zulu 




Bryant 

(1949) 


sleeping-mats 


Zulu 




Bryant 

(1949) 


sleeping-mats 


Zulu 




Mayr 
(1906- 

1907) 


baskets 


S. Tsonga 


Manguzi 




sleeping-mats 


Mbukushu 


Botswana 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 


sleeping-mats 


Mpondo 


Pondoland 




food-mats. 


Mpondo 


Pondoland 




sewing of coiled baskets. 


Koni 


Sekhu- 
khuneland 




grain-bins 


Tlokwa 


Bochum 




sleeping-mats 


Lobedu 


Modjadji 




sleeping-mats 


Venda 


Nzhelele 




roofing mats 


Khoikhoi 






weft of garden baskets 


Fingo 


Transkei 




baskets 


S. Nguni 






sewing of grain-bins 


Hlubi 


Sigogo 




warps of sleeping-mats 


S. Nguni 






warp and weft of food- 


S. Nguni 






mats 








beer-strainers 


S. Nguni 






warp and weft of shrimping 


Mpondo 


Umvume 




basket 




Springs, 
Pondoland 




sleeping-mats 


Swazi 


Nelspruit 


Velcich 
(pers. 
comm.) 


baskets 


West 
Tswana 






sewing of garden basket 


Rolong 


Tlhakgameng 




foundation of beer-strainer 


Huruthse 


Moshane 






Thlaping 


Moretcle 






Ngwato 


Serowe 




sleeping-mats 


East 
Tswana 






sleeping-mats 


Tsonga 


Gazankulu 





190 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Kyllinga alba Nees 


small baskets 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 


Maris cus sp. 


foundation of mats 


Nama 


S. Kalahari 


Schultze 

(1907) 




part of initiation costume 


Lobedu 


Duiwels- 
kloof 


Davison 
(1984) 


*Scirpus inclinatus (Del.) 


warps of sleeping-mats, 


Ndzundza 


Bronkhorstspruit 


Aschers & Schweinf. 


baskets 










sleeping-mats 


Tlokwa 


Silwerkrans 




Scirpus nodosus Rottb. 


ornaments 


Naron 


Sandfontein 


Bleek 

(1928) 


*Scirpus paludicola Kunth. 


beer-strainers 


Ximba 


Mahlabatini 






belts 


Thulini 


South Natal 




Scirpus rogersii N. E. Br. 


sewing of doormats 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 




* Scirpus tege talis Burch. 


sleeping-mats 


Cape 




Burchell 






Khoikhoi Fraserberg 


(1824) 




beer-stirrer 


Zulu 


Tugela Ferry 




] uncus effusus L. 


beer-strainers 


Zulu 


Mahlabatini 






beer-strainers 


Ngwane 


Bergville 






warps of grain-bins 


Zulu 

Zulu 
Ngwane 


Melmoth 

Tugela Ferry 
Bergville 


Dept. 

Agric. 
(1940) 




sleeping-mats 


Zulu 


Mahlabatini 


Gerstner 




-' 






(1938: 
323) 




sitting-mats 


Zulu 


Nongoma 






?spoon-bags, sleeping- 


Zulu 




Gerstner 




mats, food-mats 






(1938: 
228) 


*Juncus maritimus Bak 


sleeping-mats 


Zulu 


Melmoth 






stirrers 


Zulu 


Tugela 
Ferry 




Juncus punctorius L.f. 


warps of sleeping-mats 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 






baskets 


Swazi 


Mbabane 





* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 
Rushes: family Typhaceae 

Rush stems, when used, are cut and dried in the same way as sedge stems. 
They are used as warps for a common type of sleeping-mat in Natal and for 
a tobacco-mat in Mozambique. The Southern San are said to have made a 
cord for fish traps from them, but the word 'rush' is very loosely used in the 
literature. 

The only rush identified is the bulrush: 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



*Typha latifolia subsp. capensis sleeping-mats 
Rohrb. 

sleeping-mats 



Zulu 



Tswa 



Natal 



Mozam- 
bique 



Gerstner 
(1938: 

228) 



* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



191 



Creepers 

The stems of creepers are used extensively in the northern and eastern 
Transvaal, Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe, either as foundation rods for 
coiled basketwork or split for use as the sewing strand. They are also used, in 
the same areas, as strengthening rods for the rims of woven baskets. 

Thicker creeper stems are used as wefts over rigid warps for meat trays and 
hut doors by Mpondo and Zulu. 

The creeper stems are generally stripped, dried and soaked in water for use, 
but in some cases, for example the meat trays, they are used green and 
untreated. 

The following species have been recorded: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Combretum zeyheri Sond. 


warp and weft of conical 
basket 


Manyika 


Mutare 
(Umtali) 




Cocculus hirsutus (L.) Diels 


oversewing edge of 
winnowing basket 


Tsonga 


Gazankulu 






sewing strand 


Lobedu 


Duiwels- 
kloof 




Dalbergia obovata (E. Mey) 


basketwork 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 
(1941: 
291) 


Dioscorea sp. 


coil foundation and sewing 


Venda 


Venda 




Flagellaria guineensis Schumach 


hut doors and baskets 


Zulu 


Natal 




Jasminum streptopus E. Mey. 


coil foundation; edge of 
woven basketwork 


Venda 


Mpephu 




Menispermaceae sp. 


coil foundation 


Tswana 


Botswana 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 


Pharnacium sp. 


warp 


Ambo 


Ovambo 




Rhoicissus rhomboidea (E. 


oversewing edge 


S. Nguni 


Transkei 




Mey) Planch. 




Xesibe 
Bhaca 


East 

Griqualand 
East 

Griqualand 




"Solatia zeyheri PI. 


oversewing edges 


Ndau 


Chipinge 
(Chipinga) 




Smilax kraussiana Meisn. 


hut doors 


Zulu 


Natal 




Tecomaria capensis Spach. 


coil foundation 


Lenge 


Masiyene 




*Xylopia antunesii Engl. & 


oversewing winnowing 


Budjga 


Mutoko 




Diels 


baskets 




(Mtoko) 





N — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



LEAVES OF PLANTS 



Leaves of various plants are dried and split into strands of suitable width for 
various sorts of basket work. 



Palm: family Palmae (Fig. 110) 

The most widely used leaf is the palm-leaf. Wherever the palm grows it is 
used; the most commonly used are the two species of the fan palm Hyphaene 



192 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



natalensis Kunze (= *H. crinita Gaertn.) and *H. ventricosa Kirk. Among the 
Nguni speakers the fan palm is called ilala, and elsewhere by various forms of 
the same root word, but in Botswana it is known as mokola, mokolane and mo- 
kolwane. In the south-east, the wild date Phoenix reclinata Jacq, known as 
isundu (Xhosa, Thembu, South Tsonga), is used. Along the east coast, where 
the coconut palm has been introduced, its leaves are used. 

For certain purposes the palm-leaf is used whole, in which case the leaf 
folioles are merely separated and woven on the midrib. Such is the cover made 
for covering the cups in which palm sap is collected, made of a small leaf of a 
fan palm with the folioles woven chequer. This may be done while the leaf is still 
green. 

For the most part, however, palm-leaves are dried, then the folioles are 
stripped off the midrib, which is also kept for use. The folioles may be used 
whole or split, if necessary, and sorted. Before use they are soaked in water. 

* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 







Fig. 110. Palm (*Hyphaene ventricosa Kirk), Ovamboland. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



193 



The initiation costumes of the Southern Nguni are made of whole Phoenix re- 
clinata folioles taken off the midrib and secured with lattice wrapping over a 
cord. Far more commonly, and particularly those of Hyphaene spp., the folioles 
are split to the required width for use. 

In woven work, strips 5-25 mm wide are used for weaving chequer or 
twilled baskets (Ambo), mats (Ambo, Tsonga), winnowing trays (Tsonga and 
Chopi), ankle rattles (?Mpondo), and especially for the pouches that are found 
all along the east coast and in the Kavango territory. For twilled beer-strainers 
that are found in the south-east, the strips are split to follow the natural 
decrease of the leaf and their use provides the required decrease in the beer- 
strainer. Stripped leaves of Hyphaene are said to have been used sometimes as 
wefts of Zulu grain-bins. 

The only instance recorded where the midribs of folioles are used in woven 
work is in the skimming spoons for beer, which are used in Natal and neighbour- 
ing territories. The midribs are used both for warp and weft, but sometimes for 
warp with a weft of another material — sedge or fibre or modern string. 

In coiled sewn work palm-leaf is very largely used throughout a large part of 
the country for sewing strands and for the oversewing of edges. The folioles are 
dried and split into strips 1-5 mm wide. Generally, the best strands are used for 
sewing and the remainder used with the midribs for the coil foundation; some- 
times they are mixed with grass for this latter purpose, which is frequently made 
of grass entirely. 

More rarely, for example among the Valenge, palm-leaf strands are used 
for sewing over a single foundation of the stem of a creeper. 

Family Iridaceae 

Second in importance to palm-leaf are the leaves of numerous species of the 
family Iridaceae. Many members of this family have long, tough, fibrous leaves, 
like shoe laces, which make very suitable material for sewing strands in coiled 
work. No woven work using these plants has been recorded so far, except 
plaited cords for various purposes. 

The following have been identified: 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



Hypoxis spp. 



wefts of grain-bins 




Natal 
Nguni 




Dept. 
Agric. 
(1940) 


ornaments 




Fingo 




Kawa 
(1929) 


cords, ropes 






Natal 


Gerstner 
(1939: 

323) 


cords, baskets, ropes 


for 




Natal 


Grossert 


thatch 








(1967) 



* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



194 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Other plants 

The Venda, particularly, use the leaves of a Strelitzia or Ensete sp. for over- 
sewing the join in the centre of their mufharo baskets. The leaves are dried and 
split into wider strips than palm. They give only a short strand. 

The smooth folded leaves of one of the Amaryllidaceae — Vellozia retinervis 
Bak (bobbejaan-stert), are split in half and used by the Lobedu of the Transvaal 
to weave twilled beer-strainers, like the palm-leaf strainers elsewhere. The Pedi 
plait them into cord. 

The following other plants of which the leaves are used have been iden- 
tified: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Anthericum sp. 


baskets 


Zulu 




Grossert 
(1967) 


Dicoma zeyheri Sond. 


girls' skirts 


Zulu 




Krige 
(1950) 




bridal veils 


Zulu 




Krige 
(1950) 


Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. 


for sewing delicate baskets 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 




Ensete ventricosum Cheesm. 


sewn beer-strainer 


Lobedu 


Duiwelsklool 






sewing together parts of 


Venda 


Ndzehele 






twilled basket 








Strelitzia augusta Thb. 


penis sheaths 


Zulu 


Mahlabatini 






penis sheaths 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 
(1938: 
326) 




rope for hut building 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 
(1938: 
218) 


Strelitzia sp. 


sewing together parts of 
woven baskets 


Venda 


Ndzehele 




Zea sp. (maize) 


sewing strand in coiled 
work 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 


Davies 
(1934) 


WHOLE PLANT 











Rather more rarely the whole plant is used, but only in the case of grass and 
reeds. 

The whole tuft of grass, stripped of its roots, may be used as a warp 
element in woven work. This occurs more especially in twined work, where the 
weft is of some other material, as for example, in the Mpondomise and Bhaca 
garden baskets and South Sotho grain-mats. 

Whole grass plants are used for the plaited ropes with which South Sotho 
and Nguni tie down the thatch of their huts and which are used generally for 
many purposes. Similar to this is the plaited grass cord with which loose-coiled 
grain-bins are oversewn. 

Whole grass plants may also be used as a coil foundation. This is seen 
particularly in the soft granary baskets. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



195 



The following plants have been identified: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Aristida sp. 


coil foundation 


Ambo 


Oshikango 




*Crinipes gynoglossa Goossens 


plaited coil foundation 


Swazi 


Pigg's Peak 




Cymbopogon sp. 


rope 


Bomvana 


Elliotdale 




Eragrostis curvula Nees 


grain-bins 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gcrstncr 

(1938: 
337) 


Ischaemum fasciculatum Brongn. 


plaited 


Zulu 


Natal 




*Oplismenus africanus P. Beauv. 


coil foundation 


Zulu 


Natal 




Pogonarthria squarrosa Pilger 


coil foundation 


Ndcbcle 


Zimbabwe 




Sporobolus pyramidalis Beauv. 


coil foundation 


Hlubi 
Mpondo 
Ximba 
S. Sotho 
Koni 


Hcrschel 

Transkci 

Mahlabatini 

Mataticlc 

Transvaal 





* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BARK 



Thin bark is widely used for basketwork in many areas. It is stripped from 
the stem and dried; it may be boiled to toughen it. The Chopi finally rub the 
bark of Brachystegia with Trichilia emetica seeds to make it soft. 

Natural coloured bark may be used as a weft element, especially over stiff 
warps, and is very frequently used as the ordinary sewing element in coiled sewn 
work. It is also much used for oversewing of rims and edges and for sewing 
joins. 

Coloured barks, generally reddish brown, are frequently used for the intro- 
duction of colour. 

Very thin strips of bark may be twisted to a single- or two-ply cord and used 
for sewing or twining sleeping-mats, for twining open fish baskets, for sewing 
coiled baskets, or as both elements in a woven cloth made in Zimbabwe. 

Wide strips of bark are used especially in Mozambique to cover and protect 
the base of conical baskets. 

The following species have been identified: 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



* Acacia capensis Burch. 
Acacia polycantha Willd 

Acacia sp. 

Annona senegalensis Pers. 

Bauhinia galpinii N. E. Br. 



soft outer bark for sewing Khoikhoi Riet River Burchell 



mats 
string for sewing mats 



Nama 



inner bark for sewing mats Nama 
sewing hoop to basket Ndau 

oversewing coiled baskets Swazi 



(1824) 
Fransfontein Hoernle 
(1913- 
1922) 
Andersson 
(1854) 
Chimanimani 
(Melscttcr) 
Hlatikulu 



* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



196 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Boscia albitrunca Gilg. et 


oversewing coiled baskets 


Huruthse 


Mangodi 




Bened. 












weft of food-mats 


Ngwato 
S. Tsonga 


New Town, 

Serowe 
Manguzi 




Brachystegia boehmii Taub. 


2-ply cord of inner bark 


Manyika 


Mutare 
(Umtali) 




Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. 


base of basket 


Tsonga 


Manjacaze 






outside supporting bands 


Lenge 


Masiyene 


Earthy 
(1933) 




protecting base of basket 


Chopi 


Makupulane 






weft of fish trap 


Karanga 


Mbercngwa 










(Belingwe) 


Bridelia micrantha Buill. 


sewing hoop to basket 


Ndau 


Chimanimani 
(Melsetter) 


Colophospermum mopane 


weft of fish basket 


Ndau 


Chipinga 




(Kirk & Benth.) Kirk ex J. 






(Chipinge) 


Leonard 












weft of grain-bin 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin (1985) 




oversewing edge of 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin (1985) 




baskets 








*Dombeya natalensis Sond. 


sewing coiled baskets 


Zulu 
Swazi 


Natal 
Hlatikulu 


Gerstner 
(1938: 236) 




oversewing edge 


Zulu 


Oswatini, 

Natal 






decorativcsewing 


Zulu 


Hlabisa 




Ficus sp. 


weft for mats 


Zulu 


Melmoth 




*Ficus capensis Thunb. 


bark for whipping handle 
of bag 


Tsonga 


Sodwana 




Grewia bicolor Juss. 


sewing coiled basketwork 


Sarwa 


north and 
west of 
Serowe 


Ebert (1978) 


Grewia flava DC. 


sewing of hats 


Korana 


Bloemhof 


Engelbrecht 
(1936) 




oversewing winnowing 


Thlaping 


Moretele 






basket 










decoration of basket 


Rolong 


Stad 

Mafikeng 






oversewing of basket 


Huruthse 


Dinokana 




Grewia monticola Sond. 


wefts of thatching mats; 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 






oversewing edge of baskets 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 


McCalman 
(pers. 
comm.) 


Grewia subspathulata N. E. Br. 


oversewing edge of baskets 


Tswana 


Botswana 




* Pouzolzia hypoleuca Wedd. 


sewing coiled baskets 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 




Pterocarpus angolensis DC. 


cover to base of basket 


Chopi 


Zavala 




Salix capensis Thunb. 


sewing of mats 


Nama 


Keetmans- 
hoop 


Schinz (1891) 


*Sclerocarya caffra Sond. 


sewing (pattern) 


Ndebele 


Tjolotjo, 










Zimbabwe 


Sterculia rogersii N. E. Br. 


sewing of coiled basket 


Koni 


Sekhukhune 
land 




Terminalia sericea Burch. 


sewing of coiled baskets 


Tswana 


Botswana 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 



* — See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



197 



FIBRES 

Except for one instance in Sekhukhuneland, where the root fibres of Vello- 
zia retinervis are used in their natural state as a coil foundation, the vegetable 
fibres so far recorded are used twisted into two-ply string. 

The fibres are separated by scraping and may be softened in water, or very 
often by chewing, before being rolled on the thigh, first into two one-ply cords, 
then into one two-ply cord, in a continuous movement. 

Fibre cord has many uses. In basketwork it is mostly used for sewing or 
twining sleeping-mats, and also for twining fish traps and for oversewing edges 
of baskets. 

The most common source of fibre is the Sansevieria plant (wild sisal), which 
is indigenous to many parts of the country. Where it is not available, some sort 
of aloe usually is and for the last century or so the agave (sisal) has been planted 
in many areas. The inner bark (bast) of the acacias is also a very good source of 
fibre. Latterly, the threads of grain-bags have been twisted into cord for sewing. 

The following species have been identified: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


* Acacia capensis Burch. 


sewing mats 


Khoikhoi 


Riet River 


Burchell 

(1824) 


* Acacia horrida Willd. 


sewing mats 


Nama 


— 


Schapera 
(1930) 


Acacia zizyfolius 


oversewing edge of baskets 


Mpukushu 


Andara 




Agave americana L. 


oversewing of edge of 
baskets 


Vundla 


Quthing 






weft of sleeping-mats 


Zulu 


Natal 






weft of sleeping-mats 


Swazi 


Ingwavuma 






wefts of mats 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 






sewing strand of mats 


Chopi 


Makupulane 






sewing strand of beer- 


widely 








strainers and mats 


used 






Aloe sp. 


binding; brooms 


Ximba 


Mahlabatini 






foundation coil 


Ngwaketse 


Kanye 




Brachystegia boehmii Taub. 


sewing for mat 


Ndau 
Roswi 


Mutare 

(Umtali) 
Rusape 




Ficus sp. 


sewing or twining mats 


Bhaca 


Matatiele 




*Ficus vogelii (Miq.) Miq. 


oversewing hoops 


Tembe 


Sodwana 






sewing bands on baskets 


Lenge 


Masiyene 


Earthy 
(1933) 


Grewia flava D.C. 


inner bark for wefts or 
sewing of mats 


Rolong 


Ganyesa 




Hibiscus canabinus L. 


sleeping-mat 


Venda 


Mpephu 




*Hyphaene crinita Gaertn. = 


rope 


Zulu 


Natal 


Gerstner 


H. natalensis Kunze 








(1941: 
277) 


Rhus sp. 


warps of fish traps 


S. San 


Orange R. 


Barrow 

(1801) 


Sansevieria aetheopica Thunb. 


sewing edge of baskets 


Kwanyama 


Ovambo 


Rodin 

(1985) 




sewing baskets 


Mpukushu 


Andara 





-See Appendix 3 for current name. 



198 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Sansevieria aetheopica Thunb. 


sewing mats 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 




(cont. ) 


sewing beer-strainers 


Pedi 


Sekhukune- 
land 






weft of mats 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 






twining sieves 


Naron 


Sandfontein 


Drury 

(1935) 
Campbell 


* Sansevieria desertii N. E. Br. 


binding (?sewing) of coil 


Tswana 


Botswana 










(pers. 










comm.) 


Sansevieria pearsoni N. E. Br. 


sewing edge of basket 


Kwanyama 


Ovambo 


Rodin 
(1985) 


*Sclerocarya caffra Sond. 


coil foundation 


Ndebele 


Tjolotjo 


Vellozia retinervis Baker 


coil foundation 


Pedi 


Sekhukune- 
land 






sewing basket 


Pedi 


Schoonoord 






sewing mats 


Pedi 


Schoonoord 






brooms 


Ndebele 


Zimbabwe 






beer-strainer 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 


Davison 

(1984) 




beer-strainer 


Venda 


Ndzehele 




Vigna sp. 


root fibres used for making 
string 


Zulu 


Natal — in 
many 
places, 
especially 
in south 





-See Appendix 3 for current name. 



WOOD 



Three sorts of wood are used in basketwork — thin withies (or stems of 
creepers) used whole or split in half, timber cut as required, and thin root stems 
used whole or cut in half. 



Withies 

These are stripped, dried, and soaked. Thin stems may be used as 
foundation rods for coiled basketwork, in which case they may be used whole or 
split in half. They are also used in the northern Transvaal and Mozambique par- 
ticularly, as strengthening hoops for woven work, and are split for use as the 
pliable wefts in the wicker baskets of the Shona. Thin twigs are used as warps 
for fish traps (Southern San, Tsonga, Ambo), sieves (Southern San), beer- 
strainers (Ambo), grain-bins and other baskets. 

The species recorded are: 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



ia sp. 


basket coil foundation 


Tsonga 




ypha glabrata Thunb. 


warps of fish traps 


Tsonga 


Palmer & 
Pitman 
(1972) 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



199 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Colophospermwn mopane 


coil foundation 


Ambo 






(Kirk & Benth.) Kirk ex 










J. Leonard. 












lattice of grain-bin 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin 
(1985) 


Combretum parvifoliwn Dinter 


reinforcement of basket 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin 




rim 






(1985) 


Combretum engleri Schinz 


reinforcement of basket 
rim 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin 

(1985) 


*Grewia deserticola Ulbr. 


warps of fish traps 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin 

(1985) 


Grewia flava DC. 


coil foundation 


Tlaping 








rim of winnowing basket 


Rolong 


Stad 

Mafikeng 




Grewia flavescens Juss. 


warps of smoking frames 


Herero 


Ghanziland, 
Ngami- 
land, 
Botletli, 
Mahala- 
pye 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 


Rhus lancea L.f. 


oversewing edge 


Huruthse 


Duiwels- 
kloof 




Terminalea sericea Burch. ex 


warp and lattice of grain- 


Kwanyama 


Oshikango 


Rodin 


DC. 


bin 






(1985) 


Triomfetta sp. 


beer-strainer 


Lobedu 







-See Appendix 3 for current name. 



Timber 



Timber may be used as thick stakes for warps in wattlework, for example, 
doors, fences or the sides of sledges. Or it may be cut from branches into thin 
slivers of wood about 6-10 mm wide and 2 mm thick and used for both warp 
and weft in check or twilled woven work — mostly twilled. It is particularly com- 
monly used for shallow winnowing trays in the central area and the rather 
deeper trays that are commonly used for various purposes throughout Zim- 
babwe. Thin slivers of wood are also used as warps for wicker baskets in 
Zimbabwe. The Venda and Lobedu of the Transvaal make a special sort of 
carrying basket (see Fig. 4) of this material. Rather thicker slivers are used for 
the strengthening rims of baskets of this type that hold the work together for the 
oversewing. Wider pieces (2-8 cm wide) are sewn on to the body of baskets of 
this type as rims for the edges. 

The following species have been recorded: 



Species 



Use 



Group 



Place 



Author 



Acacia ataxacantha DC. 



fabric of winnowing 

baskets 
fabric of winnowing 

baskets 



Nkum 



Tsonga 



Tzancen 

Hans 

Merensky 
Reserve 



200 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place 


Author 


Acacia ataxacantha DC. 


fabric of winnowing 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 




(cont.) 


baskets 










fabric of winnowing 


Venda 


Sibasa and 






baskets 




Louis 
Trichardt 




* Acacia detinens Burch. 


fabric of winnowing 
baskets 


Ngwato 


New Town, 
Serowe 




Acaiypha glabrata Thunb. 


fish-trap 


Tsonga 




Palmer & 
Pitman 

(1972) 


Brachylaena discolor DC. 


hoop of winnowing baskets 


Venda 


Sinthumule 






hoops of baskets 


S. Tsonga 


Manguzi 




Brachystegia spiciformis Benth. 


warp and weft of conical 
baskets 


Manyika 
Chibi 


Inyanga 

Victoria, 
Zimbabwe 






winnowing baskets 


Mari 


Mahango, 
Victoria, 
Zimbabwe 




* Caesalpina sepiaria Roxb. 


winnowing baskets 


Lobedu 


Duiwelskloof 




Cassine crocea (Thunb.) Kunze 


warp and weft of baskets 


Ndau 


Ngorima, 










Chimanimani 








(Melsetter) 




* Commiphora fischeri Engl. 


winnowing baskets 


Ndau 


Chipinge 
(Chipinga) 




Craibia brevicaudata (Valke) 


warp and weft of conical 


Karanga 


Charter 




Dunn 


basket 








Grewia flava DC. 


winnowing baskets 


Rolong 


Tlhakgameng 




*Hyphaene ventricosa Kirk 


winnowing baskets 


Manyika 


Inyanga 






midribs for building huts; 




Kosi Bay 


Palmer & 




rafts 






Pitman 

(1972) 


Kigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC. 


hoop and slivers of 
winnowing baskets 


Manyika 


Mutare 
(Umtali) 




Macaranga mellifera Prain 


hoop of basket 


Ndau 


Ngorima, 










Chimanimani 








(Melsetter) 




Oxtytenanthera abyssinica 


winnowing basket 


Mari 


Victoria 




(A. Rich) Munro 






Reserve 






warp and weft of conical 


Ndau 


Gondola, 






basket 




Mozambiqu 


e 


Rhus lancea L.f. 


winnowing basket 


Huruthse 


Marico 




Rhus pyroides Burch. 


winnowing baskets 


Kgatla 


Mankwe 




Trichilia emetica Vahl 


hoops of winnowing 
baskets 


S. Tsonga 
Tsonga 


Manguzi 
Makupulane 








Lenge 


Masiyene 


Earthy 
(1933) 




warp and weft of 


Tsonga 


Chibuto 






winnowing basket 










hoops 


Chopi 


Makupulane 





-See Appendix 3 for current name. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



201 



Root wood 

Thin root stems, stripped and dried, are used extensively in the north for 
coil foundations. Split in half they are used for oversewing in coiled work, for 
oversewing of edges, and for weaving the necks to the skin vessels of the 
Korana. Thicker roots, split into flat pieces, are used for woven work (winnow- 
ing baskets) by Ndebele of Zimbabwe, and Chopi, Tsonga and Shona. 

Species recorded are: 



Species 


Use 


Group 


Place Author 


Asparagus laracinus Burch. 


oversewing edge of win- 
nowing basket 


Huruthse 


Dinokana 


Boscia albitrunca Gilg. & Ben. 


warp and weft of winnow- 


Tswana 


between 




ing baskets 




Mochudi 
and 

Kwarape 
Pan 


Combretum zeyheri Sond. 


wefts of wicker basket 


Roswi 


Rusape 




wefts of wicker basket 


Karanga 


Charter 

Mberengwa 
(Belingwe) 




wefts of wicker basket 


Govera 


Charter 


Grewia flava DC. 


oversewing edge of win- 
nowing basket 


Rolong 


Tlhakgameng 


Lannea discolor (Sond.) Engl. 


warps of wicker basket 


Budjga 


Mutoko 
(Mtoko) 




warps of wicker basket 


Roswi 


Rusape 


Lycium hirsutum Dunal. 


foundation and sewing of 


Korana 


Bloemhof Engel- 


('katbos') 


basketwork neck 




brecht 
(1936) 


Rhus lancea L.f. 


fabric of winnowing 
baskets 


Rolong 


Stad Mafikeng 




fabric of winnowing 


Tlharo 


Gadiboyi 




baskets 






Rhus tenuinervis Engl. & Gilg. 


frame of winnowing 


Sarwa 


Nata R. Ebert 




baskets 




(1978) 



ANIMAL MATERIALS 



Animal sinew 



Animal sinew is comparatively little used and almost exclusively as a sewing 
element. It may be first twisted to a two-ply cord or used as it is. Stow (1907) 
mentioned San use of it for sewing sleeping-mats; specimens of San sieves in the 
South African Museum have unspun sinew as wefts. Where articles are orna- 
mented with beads the latter are usually sewn on with sinew thread. 

Animal hair 

Ox, horse or other animal tail hair is sometimes used to introduce decor- 
ative patterns in twined, woven and coiled sewn work, or to oversew an edge. It 
may be rolled into a two-ply cord, plaited, or used as it is. This has onlv been 



202 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

recorded among the Southern Nguni, the Southern Sotho and the Western 
Tswana. Ndebele in Zimbabwe use elephant or giraffe tail hair for sewing coiled 
hats. 

Leather or dressed skin 

Leather is seldom used in the actual fabric of basketwork. In some South- 
ern and Central San wicker mat sieves, the wefts are strips of leather, as may be 
the wefts of Herero smoking-frames. In one recorded example from Lesotho a 
thin thong was used as the sewing for a beer-strainer. A round or a square of 
leather or dressed skin is, however, very commonly sewn to the bottom of 
conical grain baskets of the Sotho, Tswana and others to strengthen them and 
make them less slippery on the head. The entire base of a certain type of 
Kalanga basket (Fig. 45) is leather. Leather thongs are frequently used for 
adding straps or handles to baskets. 



IMPORTED MATERIALS 

It was inevitable that imported material should have found its way into 
indigenous basketwork to a certain extent, but so far comparatively little has 
been used. 

String is often used as the weftin mat-making and for finishing off edges of 
mats. As early as 1772, pack-thread was being used (Sparrman 1785: 209). 

String has also been recorded as used for the weft element on a skimming 
spoon, which is generally made entirely of palm-leaf. 

The woven cylindrical spoon-bags or purses of the Zulu usually have cotton 
or fine string for the weft, and have latterly come to be decorated with coloured 
wools or beads. 

Coloured wools are much used for the decoration of mats. 

Conical baskets sometimes have a piece of cotton material sewn over the 
bottom in place of the usual leather or bark. 

Beads are used for decoration and ornamentation. 

Grain-bag fibres are very much used for making a two-ply sewing strand, 
where sinew, plant fibre or a thong would have been used before. 



DYES 

The subject of dyes is as yet far from being fully investigated — most of 
those known seem to be vegetable. The question of mordants, in particular, 
needs investigation. 

Strands of material are dyed before use, to provide colour where no suit- 
able naturally coloured materials exist. What information has been recorded so 
far is presented in Table 1 . 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



203 



II 



5 



> 



a. 2 
E a 



C ^ 3 3 

<u o 3 3 



CA 

£ 03 

3 DC 

^ C 

=5 O 



to <u 

53 a- 



3 £ O 



43 J3 «- 



■g o a £ 

£ 2 S o ^ 
* * ".a -S *S 

-O 73 a fi .= 

i J2 S « 8 

'So §- £ -o 

X) X G 



£ - 

5 -a 

a) o 

X 



3 ^ 



3 ^ 

•Is 



a a 

N -^ 



||5 

03 

C 

= :§ I 

3 « o r8 

S iS P -c 

N -5 C3 i_ 

M JH > o 

a Soz 



H^ DC 



■a * 

bo S 



a. 

3 

&o 



<u 



u 



•a o 



E E 



Hi 

X 



£ o 



o o 

JD X 



T3 
"3 



3 C 

a x 



o ~~ 
c B 

1 II- -I §•§■! 



•a 


efl 


-a •- 




£ 


85 


o 

U9 


-C 


'§> 


[rt 


1 


"O &> 

,. "O 


*Vh 


-o 


ll 


0) 


u 






03 

£ 


'o 

X) 


'o * 

X 


2 


c 




c 


o 




CJ 

00 


X 




ca 


.22 


C X! 


E 





CUD 



•c«2 o 
a- 73 



<u 


<u 


U 


> 


> 


> 


C3 


03 


C3 


a> 


QJ 


<D 





PQ 


> 


o 
DC 




< 


03 

DC 








a 


K 




-5 


s 


K 






•2? 


a 












■8 


"3 


5 


•2 
S2 


<3 


i 

3 
5 


1 

"a 


1 


- 


oi 


rn 



«5 


Vi 


CA 


V5 




c« 


V2 


C/5 

E 


E 


0) 


<D 


OJ 


<u 




U 


<u 


> 


> 


> 


> 




> 


> 


CO 


03 


03 


03 




03 


KJ 


u 


OJ 


O 


JH 


JD 


M 




U 


JJ 










c 


c 

m 




u 

Q 

to 


> 

3 
Bj 
(U 














■32 


Oh 










rs 


•2 




g 










o 

c 


I 






B 

5 






d 




•o 






« 


# 






(/5 

2 

I 

bo 




.B 




S 


2 






o 
E 

S 


<3 

a 


3 
g 

On 


ob 

c 


s 


s 

6? 







.1 a 

ll 
•So 



6^"2 



Table 1 continued 



Purl used Colou 



Source other 
than field 



14. Acacia sp. ('wattle') bark 

15. Berchemia discolor (Klotsch) bark 

Hemsl. (formerly Phyllogeiton 
discolor) 



bark 
bark near 



16. Bridelia micrantha Baill. bark 

17. Colophospermum mopane Leon, bark 

18. Commiphora sp. bark 

19. *Lannea stuhlmanni Engl. bark 

20. Mangrove (probably bark 

Rhizophora mucronata Lam. 

21. Piliostigma thonningi bark 

(K. Schum.) Milne-Redhead 



red, red brown boiled first, then material boiled Port Shepstc 

or mauve with it 

brown Mahlabatini 

red. brown, Ovambo 

purple 



reddish brown 



reddish brown simmered with materia 



dark brown crushed and boiled with material 
(the most and allowed to stand for several 

common dye) days 

red boiled with material 

brown boiled with material 

red boiled with material 



red brown ?boiled with material 

reddish brown made into varnish for coating 
certain baskets 



Odibo 
Namibii 



Kavango 



people 
Ximba 
Ambo 



Oshikango Kwanyan 



Loeb (1962). 
Palmer & 
Pitman 
(1972), 
Rodin 
(1985) 

Palmer & 

Pitman 

(1972) 
Campbell 

(pers. 

comm.) 
Rodin (1985) 



material simmered i 



Chimanimani 
(Melsetter) 


Ndau 




Gazankulu 


Tsonga 




Louis 
Trichardt 


Venda 




Gazankulu 


Tsonga 




Maputo 


Tsonga 




Ovamboland 

Northern 
Botswana 


Ambo 


Palmer & 
Pitman 
(1972) 

Campbell 
(pers. 



22. * Rhamnus zeyheri (Sond.) 



24. Trichilia emetica Vahl 

25. Euclea divinorum Hiern 



26. Pterocarpus angolensis DC. 



27. Berchemia discolor (Klotzsch) 
Hemsl. 



29. * Elephantorrhiza burchelli 

(Benth.) 

30. Euclea natalensis A. DC. 



bark dark brown 



inner bark red 



boiled, dried and powdered; Zimbabwe 

powder added to boiling water 
and material placed in it 



boiled with materia 
boiled with materia 
boiled with materia 
boiled with material 

ith material 



heartwood brownish red crushed or chopped fine before 

of root boiling to make colour 

wood brown, purple 



pounded and boiled 



Mahlabatini 


Ximba 






Sodwana 


Tembe 






Bushbuck 


Nhlanganu 






Ridge 








Gazankulu 


Tsonga 






Pigg's Peak 


Swazi 






Sibasa 


Tsonga 






Chibuto 


Tsonga 






Kavango 




Campbell 








(pers. 


w 






comm.) 




Ovambo 


Ambo 


Palmer & 


1 






Pitman 






(1972), 






Rodin 


o 






(1985) 


Kavango 


Mpukushu 


Palmer & 






Pitman 


S 
c 






(1972) 


Oshikango 


Kwanyama 


Rodin (1985) 


3 

m 


Mberengwe 


Karanga 




§ 


(Belingwe) 






| 


Senthumule, 


Venda 




9 


Louis 






Trichardt 








Bergville 


Zizi 






Zululand 


Zulu 


Palmer & 





Pitman 
(1972) 
Vukani 
(pers. 
comm.) 



-See Appendix 3 for i 



Table 1 continued 



31. Euclea schimperi (A. DC.) 

Dandy 

32. Euclea sp. 

33. Harpephyllum caff rum Bemh. 

34. Hypoxis sp. 

35. Olea capensis L. 



37. * Sclerocarya caffra Sond. 

38. /Icaria karoo Hayne 

39. Berchemia discolor (Klotzsch) 

Hemsley 

40. Euclea divinorum Hiern 

41. Indigo fera sp. 



43. Pterocarpus angolensis DC. 



'Phyllogeiton zeyheri (Sond.) 
Suesseng. 



45. Chenopodium ambrosioides L. 

46. *Indigofera pretoriana Harms 

47. Carbon paper 

48. Dye from store 

49. Indelible pencil 



50. Ink 

51. Permanganate of potash 

52. Typewriter ribbon 



54. Wet manure 

55. Wet sand or kraal soil 

56. Rusty iron (car springs or 



By whom Source other 
used than field 



black brown 
dark brown 



Tsonga 



boiled, then material boiled 



boiled, material put into boiling 
dye 



boiled with material; some say 
pounded and boiled for 3 day; 



boiled with material 



dried, cleaned, stamped and 
boiled with material 



Port Shepstone 


All coastal 
people 




Sodwana 


Tembe 




Hlabisa 


Zulu 


Vukani 

(pers. 
comm.) 


Sodwana 


Tsonga 




Nongoma 


Zulu 


Vukani 
(pers. 
comm.) 


Hlabisa 


Zulu 


Vukani 
(pers. 
comm.) 


Mahlabatini 


Zulu 




Mvula 


Zulu 




Senthumule, 


Venda 




Louis 






Trichardt 






Sodwana 


Tembe 





it 


orange 


it 


purple 



Serowe 



crushed and boiled with material Oshikango 

and left to stand 
boiled to make dye, and material Oshikango 
(not fast) stood in it 

fruit, leaves pinkish brown boiled with material until colour Moshana 
or whole looks right 

plant 



bluish black 



yellow (the mashed, with sorghum as mordant Ovambo 

preferred dye) 



Ngwato 

Kwanyama Rodin (1985) 



Kwanyama Rodin (1985) 
Huruthse 



Silwerkrans 


Tlokwa 
Kgatla 




Botswana 
Namibia 


Tswana 


Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 

Palmer & 
Pitman 
(1972) 


Ovambo 


Kwanyama 


Rodin (1985) 



brown 
purple 



blue/black 
blue 
black 

dark brown 
red brown 



boiled, dried, powdered and 
added to boiling water, fibres 
placed in it 



boiled with material 
boiled with material 



broken into small pieces and 
boiled with material 



boiled with material 

soak material overnight 

soaked in water with material 
material buried in it 
soaked with material 



—See Appendix 3 for current name. 



Bergville 


Zizi 




Sodwana 


Tembe 




Inhambane 


Chopi 




Eshowe 


Zulu 




Nongoma 


Zulu 




Mokgola 


Huruthse 




Gopane 


Huruthse 




Ha Popolosi, 


Taung 




Lesotho 






Serowe 


Ngwato 




Malaissa 


Chopi 




Mahlabatini 


Ximba 




Maputo 


Ronga 




Makumbe 


Tsonga 






Venda 


Stayt (1931) 




Mari 




Louis Trichardt 


Venda 




Nzhelele 


Venda 




Kavango 




Campbell 
(pers. 
comm.) 



208 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

CONCLUSION 

The main factors that govern the distribution of the techniques described 
are the type of material available in different parts of the country and the tra- 
ditions of work of the respective groups. Some quite striking differences in 
technique have been noted, for example, the split-warp twine with sedge wefts 
that is characteristic of the eastern Transkei, the coiled sewn work that is used 
throughout southern Africa but in which the different materials available modify 
the style, and the influence of the palm-belt on both woven and sewn tech- 
niques. The materials used for dyes have not yet been researched thoroughly 
and it is suspected that, with the rise of the new basketwork, experiments are 
being made to find and use new dye materials and this may make it difficult to 
isolate those that were used earlier. Considerable influence has been exercised 
by contact with people of several different cultures. An attempt will be made in 
the following parts of this series to plot the distribution of techniques and 
materials and to note the extent of foreign influence. 

The rapid rise of basketwork as a commercial craft or home industry is now 
causing anxiety about the depletion of the local material resources on which it 
depends (Cunningham 1987a, 1981b). In the early 1970s, when the craft began 
to be encouraged as a home industry, one of the advantages was that the plant 
materials were close at hand; now practitioners are having to go quite far afield 
for their needs, or to import materials. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Acknowledgement is made with thanks for the financial assistance of the 
Human Sciences Research Council towards the field research for this study 
and the Centre for Science Development towards the publication of this work. 
Opinions expressed or conclusions reached are those of the author and should 
not be regarded as representative of those of the HSRC or CSD. 

In a survey of this kind, where a study of other people's property is 
involved, one is dependent on the goodwill and helpfulness of many people. It 
would be invidious to single out any among the numerous individuals — museum 
and herbarium officers, government officials, missionaries, guides and interpret- 
ers, owners of basketwork, craftsmen and craftswomen — whose assistance has 
made the work possible. I am deeply indebted to them all. 

The contribution of the late Miss Leonie Phillip who gave much of her 
spare time to illustrating the techniques, is gratefully acknowledged, as is that of 
Mrs A. C. Lawton (van Jaarsveld) — who was involved in the early stages of the 
study, and of Mr Cedric Hunter and Mr V. Branco for compiling the figures. 

Mrs M. Carey and Mr A. C. Campbell gave advice on the text. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 209 

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Balfet, H. 1952. Vannerie: Essai de classification. L 'Anthropologic 56: 256-280. (Trans- 
lation: Baumhoff, M. A. 1957. Basketry: a proposed classification. Papers on Cali- 
fornian Archaeology 47-49: 1-21.) 

Beukes, W. T. 1937. Ethnography Collections, Transvaal Museum. 

Bleek, D. F. 1928. The Naron, a Bushman tribe of the central Kalahari. Cambridge: Cam- 
bridge University Press. 

British Association for the Advancement of Science. 1929. ^Notes and queries in Anthro- 
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Bryant, A. T. 1949. The Zulu people. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter and Shooter. 

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Carstens, P., Klinghardt, G. & West, M. (eds.) 1987. Trails in the thirstland. The anthro- 
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Cunningham, A. B. 1987a. Commercial craftwork: balancing out human needs and 
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Cunningham, A. B. 1987Z?. Effects of basket-weaving industry on Mokola palm and dye 
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Davies, C. S. 1934. The Amandebele habitat. Nada 12: 74-79. 

Davison, P. J. 1984. Lobedu material culture. Annals of the South African Museum 94(3): 
41-201. 

Department of Agriculture. 1940. Survey of native methods of storing grain. Report. 
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Drury, J. 1935. Preliminary report on the anthropological researches carried out in South 
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Engelbrecht, J. A. 1936. The Korana. Cape Town: Maskew Miller. 

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210 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



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Definitions as used by: M- 
S— Shaw. 

S ascending 

S BAND 



S BASKET 

M, S BASKETRY 

N, S BASKETWORK 



M 




BEADING 


Q. 


s 


BEESKEP 


S 




BINDING 


S 




BLANKET STITCH 


S 

N 
S 

s 

S 




BORDER 
BRAID 
BRAND 
BUNDLE 
CHAIN STITCH 


M, 


s 


CHECK 


N 




CHEQUER 


S 

M, 


s 


CHEQUER-WORK 
CHEVRON 


N 




COIL 


S 




FLAT COIL 


s 




ASCENDING COIL 



GLOSSARY 

•Mason (1904); N— Notes & Queries (1929); Q— Quiggin (1912); 

Raised up as distinct from flat. 

A flat line of colour, change of weave or other material, 

arranged concentrically on a circular object (as opposed 

to stripe on flat or straight objects). 

A vessel (or receptacle) made of interlaced flexible 

material. 

The process or art of making baskets and allied products. 

(Synonymous with basketwork.) 

1. The technique, strokes or stitches used in making 
baskets or other objects. 

2. A collection of finished baskets or objects made in the 
same- technique. 

An element run in and out through the spaces in woven, 

or the stitches in sewn, basketwork. 

Widely spaced oversewing in coiled work, each stitch 

passing just behind the stitch below. 

A strip of material sewn over the edge of the work to 

secure it. 

Oversewing in which the thread is caught once behind 

each new stitch, i.e. half-hitched. 

A decorative band or stripe near the edge of the work. 

A narrow strip formed by plaiting. 

To mark by burning. 

A number of things bound together loosely. 

A type of stitch in which the thread, having passed to the 

back of the material, passes through a loop in itself as it 

re-emerges in front. In a series this gives the effect of a 

chain stretched across the surface of the material. 

A single square of a pattern in squares; where warp and 

weft cross in chequer work. 

Technique of woven basketry in which the warp and weft 

pass over and under each other singly. 

Work made in the above technique. 

Geometrical motif in which two lines meet at an angle to 

make a V or inverted V. 

(v) To wind into a circle or spiral. 

(n) A continuous element wound into a spiral. 

When the element is wound in the same plane so that the 

work remains flat. 

When at each turn the element is put above the turn 

below, so that the work ascends and the object becomes 

hollow and circular or cylindrical. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



211 



M, Q 



COILED BASKETWORK 



COIL FOUNDATION 



N, 


s 


COMPOSITE ELEMENT 


S 




CONCENTRIC 


Q, 


N 


CORD 


S 




CROSS-STITCH 


s 




CROSSED WARP 


s 




CYLINDRICAL 


s 




DARN 


N, 


Q, S 


DECORATION 



Q, S 

M, S 

S 

N, S 
N, S 



N, M 



DIAGONAL WEAVING 

DIAPER 

EDGE 

ELEMENT 



EMBROIDERY 



END 



N 




EXTENSION 


N, 


s 


FABRIC 


N, 


s 


FIBRE 


S 




FIGURE-OF-EIGHT 


s 




FINISHING 


s 




FOOT 


N, 


s 


FOUNDATION 


s 




FRINGE 


N, 


M 


FURCATE 


S 




HALF-HITCH 


s 




HALF HOOP 



M. 


S 


HERRINGBONE 


S 




HITCH 


N, 


s 


HOOP 


N, 


M 


INTERLACE 


S 




INTERLOCK 


N 




INTERSTICE 



Type of basketwork in which a foundation of hard or soft 
material, arranged in a fiat or ascending spiral, is held to- 
gether by means of oversewing. 

The element which is coiled in coiled basketwork and 
round which the stitches pass. 
Element made up of distinct parts. 
Having a common centre. 

A string composed of several strands twisted together, in 
the same direction. 

Two stitches crossing each "other to make an X. 
When the warp is crossed between strokes of the weft. 
In the shape of a hollow tube. 
To sew or embroider with interweaving stitches. 
The embellishment of the surface of the work, made 
during the work. 

(i) By the addition of elements that are not essential to 
the construction but which are worked into it. 
(ii) By special treatment of elements that are essential to 
the construction. 

An item of decorative work or the general effect of such 
items. 

Running the weft and warp at an angle. 
A raised pattern in the weave. 
The extreme margin of anything. 

One of the simple constituent parts of anything, in this 
case the wefts, the warps, the coil foundation, or the 
sewing strand. 

Embellishment with needlework after the basket is 
finished. 

The extreme point of anything that has more length than 
breadth. 

An enlargement in breadth or a continuation in length. 
An interlaced texture; the work. 

A filament in plants or animals; a substance composed of 
a collection of such filaments. 
A stitch the outline of which makes an eight. 
Securing of the loose ends in woven or coiled work. 
The lower part, on which an object rests. 
The base or ground work; the element in sewn basket- 
work which the sewing penetrates, and which controls the 
shape. 

A border composed of separate loose strands. 
Forked, used of stitches in coiled sewing intentionally and 
symmetrically split or sewn twice into one space to give a 
forked or chain effect. 
A half interrupted movement in stitching. 
A strip of wood or other solid material bent into half a 
ring, round or oval. 

A border or edging made by turning an edge over on 
itself to strengthen it. 
A series of parallel chevrons. 
A full interrupted movement in stitching. 
A strip of wood formed into a ring. 

To lace together; to insert one thing with another, to 
cross and intertwine elements. 

To hold two elements together by looping one through 
the other. 
A small space between things closely set. 



212 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Q, S 

S 

N, S 

M, N 



KNOB 

KNOT STITCH 



LATTICE WEAVING 



N, 


S 


LOOP 


N, 


s 


MORDANT 


S 




NODE 


N 




MOTIF 


N 




MOTTLE 


S 




MOULD 


s 




MULTIPLE 


N, 


Q, S 


ORNAMENTATION 


N, 


S 


OVERLAY 


S 




OVERSEW 







PATTERN 


M 




PIERCED WARP 



N, S 



PLAIT 



N 




PLY 


N 




RADIAL 


N, 
N 


s 


RIM 
ROD 


S 

s 




SCALLOP 
SEIZING 


s 




SELVEDGE 


N, 


s 


SEWING 



SIDE 



N. 


S 


SIMPLE ELEMENT 


S 




SLIT 


N, 


s 


SLIVER 


S 




SPACING 


s 




SPINY 


M. 


, s 


SPIRAL 


N 




SPLINT 


N 




SPLIT 


S 




SPLIT WARP 



A small rounded protuberance on the surface of the 
work. 

Sewing of coiled work when the sewing strand comes out 
between coils, crosses the last stitch and goes round a 
former stitch to give the appearance on one surface of a 
tied knot. 

A strip of wood or other firm material added to the inner 
or outer surface of the fabric, most frequently in the same 
direction as the weft. 

Work in which two sets of rods cross at right angles and 
are held together by wrapping or twining one or more 
strands round the intersections. 
A doubling of flexible material; a bend. 
A substance that has a chemical affinity for colouring 
matter and serves to fix dyes. 
The point of a stem from which the leaves spring. 
The distinctive feature of an ornamental design. 
One of a number of spots by which a surface is vari- 
egated; to mark or cover with spots. 
To bend into shape. 

Consisting of many components, e.g. stems of grass. 
The embellishment of objects by the addition of separable 
elements after the work is completed — as distinct from 
decoration. 

To place over certain elements a decorative element. 
To sew over the edge of an object or round a foundation; 
to sew one round of foundation to the next in coiled bas- 
ketwork. 

The surface effect produced by various strokes. 
The form of weaving in soft materials where the wefts 
pass through the warps. 

To interlace three or more continuous strands in the same 
ultimate direction, to form a narrow strip of material so 
interlaced; a braid. 
A strand of a twisted cord. 
Moving outwards from a centre. 
An extended, raised or projecting margin. 
A long slender twig. 

One of a series of rounded projections on the edge of an 
object; to trim the edge with such. 
To fasten together by binding round with a thin strand. 
Edge of woven work on which the ends of the warp are 
turned back into the fabric. 

The fastening together of elements with a thread or 
strand. 

The broad part of a thing; an edge. One of the two longer 
(usually vertical) edges of an object. 
An element consisting of one part. 
Cut open lengthwise. 
A piece cut or split off lengthwise. 
Division into sections. 

Having stiff processes sticking out from the surface. 
A curve which continually recedes from a centre round 
which it revolves. 
A thin piece of wood split off. 
Divided lengthwise. 

When the warps are divided lengthwise into two or more 
parts which are treated singly. 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



213 



s 






STAPLE 


N, 


Q, 


S 


STITCH 


S 






STRAND 


N, 


S 




STRING 


N 






STRIP 


N 






STRIPE 


S 






OPEN STRIPE 


S 






STROKE 


s 






TACKING 


s 






TECHNIQUE 


s 






TENSION 


N 






THREAD 


N 






TIMBER 


N, 


Q, 


S 


TWILL 



Q, S 



s 






WAIST 


s, 


Q, 


M 


WARP 


N 


,Q 




WATTLING, WATTLEWORK 


N 


,s 




WEFT 


S 






WHIP 


N. 

N 
N 


, Q, 


M 


WICKERWORK 

WIND 
WINDING 


N 


,s 




WITHY 


N 


, Q, 


S 


WOVEN BASKETWORK 


N 


, s 




WRAP 


N 


, s 




WRAPPED 



N, M, S ZIGZAG 



A short rod or twig bent into the form of an inverted U. 
The complete action of a (needle and) thread or strand 
when sewing. A completed movement in coiled basket- 
work corresponding to 'stroke' in woven work. 
A thin simple flexible element. 

A thin twisted line or cord of two- or more ply; used for 
fastening anything. 

A long narrow piece; to pull or tear off. 
A line or long narrow division of anything of different 
colour or texture from the groundwork. 
A narrow division made by two parallel lines different 
from the groundwork, with the groundwork showing in 
between. 

A complete movement in woven work. 
A long slight stitch used in fastening elements together. 
Method; manner of work. 

The action of stretching or condition of being stretched. 
A thin line used for sewing; a twisted filament; any thin 
filament. 

Wood — the body or stem of a tree. 
A woven technique in which each weft passes over and 
then under two or more warps, starting alternately over 
one or over two, so that the crossings make diagonal lines 
across the fabric. 

Twist two or more elements together in the same direc- 
tion. In basketwork, a woven technique in which two or 
more wefts are twisted together in the same direction so 
that they enclose a warp at each half turn by passing alter- 
nately in front of and behind it. 
A narrowing of the body. 

Group name for the elements in woven basketwork which 
are vertical and more or less passive and about which the 
wefts are woven; also a single one of these elements. 
A special type of woven basketwork in which the warps 
are rigid stakes planted in the ground, or in a frame. 
One of the elements that cross the warp in woven basket- 
work; the actively woven element; the horizontal ele- 
ments; group term for these elements. 
To bind round; to cover with a cord or the like bound 
closely and regularly round and round. 
Woven basketwork with strong rigid or almost rigid 
warps, between which the flexible wefts bend in and out. 
To turn round some fixed object. 
A turning. 

A twig; a flexible twig. 

Made by the interlacing by crossing of two or more sets of 
elements. 

To wind something round. 

A type of woven work in which a single weft element 
wraps right round a warp element before continuing. 
A line having short sharp turns, generally of equal length 
and equal angular proportions. A series of short lines 
inclined at angles in alternate directions. A line or course 
having sharp turns of this kind. 






APPENDIX 1 
SUMMARY AND INDEX OF BASKETWORK TECHNIQUES 



WOVEN 






1 Chequer 

2 Twilled 


a close 

b open 
a straight 
b diagonal 


i straight 
ii diagonal 


3 Wrapped 

4 Twined 


plain 
a plain 


i close 



b twilled 
c split-warp 



i zigzag 
i diagonal 



a single warp 
b multiple warp 
a single warp 
b multiple warp 
a single warp 
b multiple warp 

a close 
b open 
a close 
b open 
c unequal 
divisions 



2b 


3B.4 


3 


5,6 


4a 


7A 


4b 


8 


4c 


7B 


4d 


7C 


4e 




4f 


7D 


4g 


7E 


4h 


9A-E 


4i 


9C 


*j 


9DE. 



5 Wicker a chequer 

b wrapped 



a single plain 
b single chain 
r single figure- 
of-eight 
d single hitched 
e double plain 
/plain over 

a close 



5c 






63. 65 


Sd 


12B- 


C 


63. 65 


5e 

5/ 
5g 


12D 




65 

65 
65 


5h 
5i 


12F 




65 

65 


Sj 






65 



a chequer 
b wrapped 



one strand 
1 more than one 
strand 



■ combination 
of i and iii 



b hitched 

c figure-of-eight 

plain 

one lattice a one strand 

b more than 
one strand 
two lattices a one strand 
wrap 

b more than 
one strand 



a simple 
b extended 



c twilled 
d multiple 

e herring-bone 

/open 

g angular 



/ hitched 
k spiral 



three strand 
more strands 
four strands 



more strands 



close 
i open 

uneven tension 
close 



plain 
zigzag 



7a 


16A 


7b 


16B 


7c 


16C 


7d 


16D-E 


7c 


16D-E 


7/ 




7g 


16F 


7h 


17A 


7i 


17B 


7) 




7k 


17C 


71 




7m 


17D 


7n 


17E 


7o 


17F 


7 P 




7q 


17G-H 



Straight 
foundation 
(flat or 
cylindrical) 



FABRIC (continued) 



sewn every 
twist 
; sewn less 
often 



Tech. Fig. 
8 18A 



Page 







ii plaited 






2 Coiled 


plaited 


i straight sewn 






foundation 










(flat) 




ii tacked 






3 Coiled 


a simple or 


i simple 


a simple 




foundation 


multiple 


oversewing 


foundation 




(ascending) 


foundation 


ii corded 


b multiple 
foundation 

a simple 
b multiple 


i over one 
ii over two 

ii over two 






iii interlock 


a simple 
b multiple 


i close 
ii open 
i close 



a pierced 
b round 
a pierced 
b round 
c between 





iv openwork 


a simple 






v knot-stitch 


b multiple 
a simple 






vi three-strand 


b multiple 
a simple 




multiple 

foundation 


i beeskep 


b multiple 
a plain 








e ribbed' 






ii furcate 


a split stitch 


i close 






b twice into 


ii open 
i close 






one 






iii cross-stitch 


a plain 
b interlock 


ii open 
BEGINNINGS 



9c 
9d 


18C, 19 


74 


10a 


20A-B 


78 


10b 


20C-E 


78 


lla 


21A 


82 


lib 


21B, 22A 


82 


He 




82 


12a 


21C-D 


82 


12b 




83 


12c 


22B 


83 


13a 


25A, 26 


83 


lib 




83 


13c 


25B 


83 


13d 


25C 


83 


13e 




— 


13f 




— 


13g 


25D-E 


83 


14a 




83 


14b 


27A, 28 


83 


15a 


27B-C 


83 


15b 


27D 


83 


16a 




— 


16b 


29A-B 


85 


17a 


21E 


85 








17c 


24A-D 


85 


18a 


29C, 30 


85 


18b 







18c 


29D-E. 30 


85 


18d 


29F-G 


85 


19a 


31A 


87 


19b 


31B-C 


87 



ON FLAT STRA1GH1 WORK 

1 Woven or 
straight 



a all warps 
laid out 
first and 
joined by 
first row 
of weft or 
sewing 
strand 



b start with 
one pair 
and add 
alternately 

all elements 
start 

together, 
maybe with 
a knot to 
hold them 
in place 





87 


32 


87 




87 



ON CYLINDRICAL WORK 

1 Woven a cheque 



i warps bound 
round cylin- 
der and the 
binding con- 
tinues as the 
weft 



BEGINNINGS iionnuiwJ) 



11 warps laid 
out, joined 
by first row 
of weft, work 
curved so 
that edges 
meet and 
weft con- 
tinues in a 
spiral to 
make an 
open cylinder 

iii warps and 
wefts knotted 
in pairs 

i warps and 
wefts knotted 
in pairs at 
obtuse angle 

ii warps and 
wefts knotted 
in bundle, 
knots turned 
inside 
iii warps and 
wefts split 
from folded 
wider strands 

warps joined 
by first row 
of weft which 
may be knot- 
ted, work 
curved round 
so that edges 
meet and 
weft con- 



Tech. 

24 



27 33B-C 



hiuiui.ltli 



elements 
knotted one 
end and 
joined by 
first row of 
sewing; work 
bent to a 



circle. 



continues 
a spiral 



sewing 



b sewing strand 
left as part of 
fringe 

c sewing strand 
worked in 
with foun- 
dation 

d sewing starts 
at narrow 
end 



29b 

29c 35B 

29d 



CIRCULAR WORK 

(flat or ascending) 
1 Woven a crossed warp 

b bound warp 
c looped warp 
d twined 

e square or 
rectangular 
mat base; 
warps and 
wefts become 
warps of 
sides with 
one added to 
make an odd 
number 



true circular 

elliptical 

single a chequ 



b twill 
c twined 
d lattice 



/extended plait 
g South Sotho 



BEGINNINGS (continued) 



ii superimposed 
iii triple 



Tech. 


Fig. 


Page 


34e 


37D 


95 


34f 




95 


35 


"38 


95 


36 


39 


95 



2 Sewn (coiled a foundation 
foundation) bent 



b foundation 
bent to a ring 

c end of 
foundation 
knotted 

d end of sewing 
knotted 

e beginning with 
sewing 
strand, 
foundation 
introduced 

/ stitched start- 
ing pad 

g chequer 
square of 
sewing strand 



i plain 

ii bound 
iii knotted 
iv plaited 
i closed 

ii open 



37 b 


40B 


97 


37c 


40C 


97 


37d 


40D 


97 


38a 


40E 


98 


38b 


40F 


98 


39 


40G 


98 



42a 


40J 


42b 
43a 


40K 
41 


43b 





INCREASES AND DECREASES 

1. Woven and a natural 



increase 
or decrease 
in width of 



decrease in 
width of 
elements 
c dividing exist- 
ing warps 
or pairing 
one or both 
elements 
d adding new 
warps or 
taking warps 
out, knotting 
and cutting 
off or adding 
new wefts 

e decrease by 
removal of 
foundation 
elements 

/ thickening or 
thinning of 
multiple warps 

g slackening or 
increasing 
tension 



47a 47b 42C 
47c 



49a 49b 
50a 50b 14 



' placing coil 
to widen 
or narrow 
the diameter 
thickening 
or thinning 
the coil 
foundation 



MOULDING OR CUTTING 

Woven 



a moulding 
fabric and 
holding 
between 
hoops 



SHAPING (continued) 



b gathering 

into a knot 

or bound 

bundle 
c moving warps 

to right 

or left to 

shape bulb 
d bending warps 

to shape 

during weave 
e bending to 

shape after 

/binding 

handle to 

shape 
g cutting woven 

fabric to 

shape 
h shortening 

wefts and 

trimming 

to shape 



Tech. Fig. 
54 14 



Page 
104 



56 




105 


57 


45 


105 


58 


106 


105 


59 
60 


43 


105 
106 



ON WOVEN OR STRAIGHT SEWN WORK 

1. Warp or a no edging i 

foundation 
edge 



(warps 
tucked in) 



i on diagonal 

chequer 
i on straight 

twill 
/ on diagonal 

twill 



end tucked 

straight 
a single edge 

b front edge 
c double edge 
d raised edge 
e reinforced 

edge 
/thin edge 
a bent warps 



i held by single 

row of twine 
i held under a 

strand made 

by twisting a 

few warps 

one after 

the other 

i multiple warp a full warp 
from back 
to front to 
back and 



68c 48B-C 



i as above 
but warps 
threaded up 
to edge 
before 
cutting 



c alternate 

warps 
a full warp 



b part warp 
c alternate warp 



68d 49A- 

68e 

68f 



EDGES (continued) 



iii single warp 

from back 

to front 

and cut 
iv multiple warp 

from back 

to front 

and cut 
v single warp i 

from front 

to back 

and cut 



vi multiple warp 
from front to 
back and 
down 

through one 
or two rows 
of twine at 
back and cut 

vii single warps 
twisted 
together in 
pairs and 
pushed 
through last 
twine from 
front to back 



' alternate 
warps 



plaited 



i over and 
under two 



alternate 
or part warp 
full warp 

■ alternate 
or part warp 



68p 50A-B 

68q 50C-D 



d reinforced 

e wrapped 

a warps back on 
themselves 
holding then 
held by a 
single twine 
strand 

b warps back 
on themselves 
holding then 
held by one 
or more 
lattices 

warps bent side- 
ways and 
tucked in 



i (S. Sotho hat) 
j twilled plait 
simple plait 



i reinforced 
i plain 



68u 50E-F 

68v 

68w 50G 

68x 

69a 51A 



69d 51B 
70 46B 



following 
warp 



tucked edge on straight 
sewn 



single 
foundation 
elements 
bent from 
back to front 
diagonally 
and back 
under last 
sewing strand 
between 2nd 
and 3rd 
elements 
further on 
and cut 



EDGES (combined) 



b single 
foundation 
elements 
bent over 
from front to 
back behind 
elements on 
right and 
through to 
front 

c elements 
held in pairs 
by twining 
and tucked in 
diagonally to 
right 



Tech. 

72b 



Page 

108 



ingly 



i one of pair, 
the other 



elements 
bent over 
and caught 



i pair twisted 
together 
i singly 



e chequer edge on lattice 
/whipping on twine 

g twined 



plain twine on 
body of fancy, 
or on chequer 
or straight 



72g 108 

73 53B 108 

74 53C 108 
75a 108 



ii close plain 

twine in 

opposite 

diagonal on 

plain or fancy 
iii two-strand 

fancy on body 

of plain or 

fancy twine 
iv three-strand a over two, 

fancy twine under one 

on body of 

plain or fancy 

b chain effect 
v extra row of a same direction 

twine through 

first and last 

row 

b opposite 
direction 
vi lattice twin- 
ing; string 

lattice in front 

and behind, 

twined to 

foundation on 

straight sewn 

["plain 

wrapping with 

single strand 

over two 

(three or 

four), under 

one (or two) 
ii hitched 

wrapping with 

single strand 
iii twined a one strand 

wrapping, 

strands twine 

as well as 

wrapping 



75e 


54C 


113 




75f 


54D, E 


113 




75g 




113 


1 

1 


75h 




113 



76b 55C-D 

76c 



EDGES (continued) 



' plaited 



iv tied 

v lattice- 
wrapped 

vi figure-of- 
eight 

vii chain effect 



i three rows of 
twine with 
warp twisted 
in and finished 
off with a plait 

i double edge 

i hanging 
plaits of 
thinned warps 



b both strands 

b both 
a plain 
b hitched 



Tech. 


Fig. 


Pag, 


76d 


55E-F 


113 


76e 




113 


76/ 




113 


76g 


56A 


113 


76h 


56B 


113 


76/ 




113 


76j 




113 


77a 


57 


113 



77b 

77c 58 A, 



/ stapled — on 
wicker- or 
wattlework 



l over 
additional 
wefts 



a plain 
b fancy 
a furcate 



b simple with 
three-strand 
plait 
iii over thick a with plaited 
multiple weft strand 
coil 

b with bark 
iv at intervals 
over warps 
bent sideways 
and twirled 
round mouth 
v on chequer a each warp 
wicker, over, 
and into warps 
only 



b alternate 

warps 
c reinforced i sewn at 

intervals 
ii sewn all 
round 



iedge 
reinforced 
above weaving 
by one or 
more lattices 
on each side, 
and oversewn 
all round but 
through the 
warps as well 

i plain 

i fringed a 



i knot tucked a plain 
round last 
sewing strand 

b fringed 



twisted 
plaited 



l one or more 
hoops on one 
side, oversewn 

ii same with 
extra hoop on 
top, oversewn 

iii one or more 
hoops on each 
side, oversewn 

iv one or more 
wooden bands 
and hoop 
outside, and 
hoop inside 



78a 
78b 

78c 




117 
117 
117 


78d 




117 


78e 


59A-B 


117 



8ld 62A- 



79a 
79b 
79c 
79d 
79e 


60B 

60A, 107 
60D 


117 
117 
117 
122 
122 


79f 


60C 


122 


80 


61A 


122 


81a 


61B-C 


123 



EDGES (comiiiiii'il) 



o flat binding 



' wide wooden 
band with or 
without hoop 
outside and 
hoop inside 

i one or more 
hoops outside 
wide band, 
making 
projecting rim 



Tech. Fig. Page 

81e 62C-D, 63 123 



2 Weft or a wefts or sewing i knotted 

sewing edges strands end off and cut 

singly 

ii oversewn 

iii wound round 
last warp 
before 
knotting 

iv threaded 
back 

v twined, sewn 
or darned 
back parallel 
to last row 

vi sewing strand 
wrapped 
round last 
element, 
threaded up 
and cut 

vii fancy knot 

b wefts or i straight • 

sewing strand back 



84d 64D 
84e 64C 



ii carried 
down to ne; 
row in open 
work, and 
then back 



ii half-hitched, 
carried down 
and half- 
hitched again 



twist 
c wrapped round 

last three 

foundation 

elements 
a taut 



b left slack as 

loop 
a single sewing 

strand 



b both wefts 

c one weft, other 
taken straight 
down 

d twined back 
and forth 
between half- 
hitches 

a over last i 

warp 



85e 


65 A 


129 


85f 


65 B 


129 


85g 
85h 




129 
129 



85j 



v straight 

diagonally 



b over e 
warp 



reinforced 
last warp 



one strand, 
other straight 
at edge 



85k 


65C 


851 




85m 




85n 


65 D 


85o 




85p 


66 



EDGES (amtiiuicil) 



c wefts 
wrapped — 
one weft is 
wrapped once 
or more round 
last warp 
which may be 
thickened; the 
other weft 
goes back into 
the next row 



vi twined back 

and forth for 

short distance, 

then continues 

across work 
vii twined down 

outer warp 

i back weft a across front 
weft and 
behind second 
warp 



Tech. Fig. 
85q 



Page 
132 



b across front 
weft and in 
front of 
second warp 
over returning 
weft 

c across front 
weft and 
between 2nd 
and 3rd warps, 
over returning 
weft 

d half-circle i 

across front 
and returning 
wefts to back 
between 1st 
and 2nd warps 



front weft 
wrapped back 



11 each weft 
wraps last 
warp with 
double or 
triple row of 
half-hitches 
between 3rd 
and 2nd, and 
2nd and final 
warps. The 
appearance is 
of two or 
three knots in 
alternate 
rows. 



circle; loop 
made front to 
back round 
other weft 
going and 
coming, then 
behind into 
next row 



i across 2nd 
warp over 
returning weft 
between 1st 
and 2nd warp 

1 one and a half 
circles through 
to back 
encircling 
back weft 
going and 
coming and 
then forward 
to next row 
between 2nd 
and 3rd warp 



between first 
and second 
warps 



between 
second and 
third warps 



EDGES (am(imicd) 





d oversewing 


i plain 




over last warp 


ii fancy 




e lattice wrap 


over two and 
under one, 
back along 
row at each 
end of straight 
sewn row 

FINISHINGS 


ON COILED SEWN 


WORK 




1 No change of 


a coil 


i multiple 


stitch 


unchanged 

b coil thinned 
c coil thickened 
d material 

changed 
e coil 

reinforced anc 

material 

changed 


foundation 
ii simple 
foundation 


2 Change of 


a oversewing 


i close 


stitch (with 






same or 






different 






material, with 




coil 






unchanged. 






thickened or 






thinned) 




ii alternately 
piercing and 
encircling coil 




b blanket stitch 


i plain 
ii fancy 




c herring-bone 


i round coil a multiple i close 
foundation 

ii open 






b round one 






single 






foundation 






c round two 






single 






foundations 






ii on top of 






coil 






ii once round a upper and 






upper coil and lower coil 






once through 






b lower coil 






v two-coil 






v raised 






vi cross-stitch 




d diagonal 


i round coil 




oversewing 


ii on top of coil a fiat 

b raised 
ii in opposite a through coil 
direction 
making cross- 
stitch 

b round coil 




e triple 






oversewing 




3 Added edge 


a extra coil 


i no change of 




added on top 


stitch 



70C 
70D 

70E 
71A 
71B 

71C 
71D 



71E 
72 



Page 

132 



89a 




135 


89b 




135 


90 
91 
92 


68A 


135 
135 
135 


93 


68C 


135 



b one or more 
complete rings 
of foundation 
sewn on 
separately 
after last coil 



i change of 



no change of 
stitch 



i change of 
stitch 



FINISHINGS (continued) 



Tech. Fig. 





c one or more 

hoops 
d withy added 
e binding 


1 No special 
finishing 


a ends simply cut 

off 
b ends threaded 

into work and 

cut 


2 oversewn 


a simple 

b figure-of-eight 

c herring-bone 


3 knotted 


a together 

b separately 

c plaited and 

knotted 


4 ends taken 
back 

diagonally, 
threaded and 
cut off 




5 Strands back 
on tracks to 
make two 
edges, with 
fringe between 


6 Lay ends 
together and 
bind 


a same direction 
b opposite 




c half hitched 


7 spiny finish 


a cone 



b band on 
central core 

8 Seizing on 
sewn beer- 
strainers and 
brooms 

9 Whipping on 
sewn beer- 
strainers and 
brooms 

10 Woven 
seizing 

11 Elements 
turned inside 
and knotted 
together 

12 Sewing on a invisible 
twilled work 

b visible 

13 Oversewing 
to join edges 
on cylindrical 
work 

14 Double a folded 
tacking to join 

edges on 
cylindrical 
work 

b flattened 

15 On cylin- a knotted in 
drical work, pairs and 
bag flattened threes 
and warps 

joined to 
make base 



plaiting 
straight 



ii on diagonal 

twill 
v as fastener in 

itself 

straight 

sewn 

twilled 



115b 
116 



76A 
76B 



Page 
139 



103 




139 


104 




139 


105a 
105b 
105c 


74A 
78 


140 
140 
140 


106a 
106b 
106c 


74B 


140 
140 
140 



109a 


74F 


140 


109b 
109c 
109d 


74G-H 


140 
140 
140 


110a 
110b 


75A-B, F 


140 


110c 




- 


11 Od 




- 


HOe 


75C 


140 


11 Of 


75D 


140 


111 


75E 


143 



117b 76D-E 
118a 



238 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



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---■■■.■'.".:■. : •-••.■- I 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 239 



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DECORATION (continued) 



e on lattice extra strands 

/on plaited i straight 

work 

ii extended 



d twisting warps 

across each 

other 
e spacing of 

groups 
/ crossing warps 

in spaces 

g twining a 
wavy pattern 



a open extended 
b open crossed 
c uneven tension 
d extended 
multiple 

a crossed strand 



a close twine 
b open twine 



Tech. 
125p 

125q 
125r 



127a 
127b 
127c 
127 d 



b lattice wrap 
c arrangement of 

nodes 
a chain stitch 

b lengthening 

twists 
c changing ply 
d change of 

direction of 

twists 



128b 
128c 



129a 
129b 



129c 
129d 



b lengthening 

stitch 
c split stitch 
d doubling stitch 
e wrapped i half-hitched 

ii openwork 
/beading 
g overlaying 
h spacing 
; cutting off 

sewing strand 

long 
/ tapering sewing 

strand 



134a 
134b 



CHANGE OF MATERIAL, SAME COLOUR 

1 Woven 



2 Sewn 


i concentric 
bands 








ii radial 








patterns 






INTRODUCTION OF COLOUR 








1 Woven a fabric 


i chequer 


a over whole 

surface 
b designs or 

bands 
c whipping 

warps 






ii twill 


a over whole 

surface 
b designs or 

bands 






iii wicker 


designs or bands 






iv twined 


a over whole 
surface 


i one weft 
ii two wefts 






b designs or 


i one weft 






bands 





141a 
141b 



142a 




157 


142b 




157 


142c 




157 


143a 
143b 


85A 


157 
157 


144 
145a 


85B 


157 
157 



DECORATION (continued) 



■ plaited 



b edges 
2 Sewn a fabric 



ii two wefts 
iii three wefts 
iv different 

stroke 
v overlaying 
c whipping 
sewing different 
pieces of 
fabric together 
designs or bands i one weft 



c wrapping end 
foundation 
strand 
a foundation i concentric 

bands of 
normal coil 
ii overlaying 

b sewing i whole 

ii mottled 
iii concentric 
bands 



a close 
b spaced 



iv radial stripes 
v geometric a concentric 
motifs 

b spaced 
i bands 
ii designs 



145d 
145e 
145 f 

145g 
I45h 
146 



147b 
147c 



149b 
149c 



150b 


87D 


160 


150c 




160 


151a 




160 


151b 


88 


162 


151c 




162 


151d 




162 


151e 




162 


151f 


89A 


162 


I5lg 




162 


152a 


89B 


162 


152b 


89C 


162 


153 




162 



* ■*- * *»-»♦♦ <• 



ORNAMENTATION 



1 Colouring 

2 Embroidery a raised bands of 

knots 
b tying on 

coloured wool 
c whipping, 

wrapping or 

twining 
d sewn 

embroidery 

3 Carving 

4 Branding 

5 Adding bands 



157 
158a 

158b 

158c 90 A, C 



91A 
91B 



6 Brass buttons 

7 Beads a on utensils 



162 92A 
163a 92B, 101 
163b 92C-D 



UTILITARIAN , 

1 Lids 

2 Handles a loops 

b cords 



l knotted 

outside, runs 

inside 
ii knotted 

inside, runs 

outside 
iii continuous 

loop outside 

and inside 



164 93, 94 

165 

166a 95A 



166b 
166c 



SHAPES (cuniiminl) 



4 Rims 

5 Feet 



loops 



a woven ridge 
b small pieces 

of wood 
c wooden ring 
d plait 



b through strip 
of wood on 
top of lid 



iv sewn round 
sides and/or 
base of pouch, 
inside lid 

v cord made of 
twill elements 
near edge of 
pouch 



Tech. Fig. 
166d 



166f 



Page 
169 



167a 


95B 


169 


167b 


95C 


169 


168 


96A-B 


169 


169 


96C 


173 


170 


63 


173 


171 




173 


172 


97A 


173 


173 


97B 


173 


174 


97C 


173 



BASKETS 

1 Garden 
baskets 

2 Other utensils 

3 Containers 

OBJECTS OTHER THAN BASKETS 

1 Bags 

2 Bracelets 

3 Bird cages 

4 Fish traps 

5 Food-mats 

6 Grain-mats 

7 Hats 

8 Huts 

9 Sledges 

10 Sleeping-mats 

11 Spoons 

12 Strainers 



176 


99, 11 


173 


177 


100, 2, 4, 30 173 


178 


101 


176 


179 


102 


176 


180 


6 


176 


181 


14 


176 


182 


8,82 


176 


183 




176 


184 


103 


178 


185 


104 


178 


186 


15 


178 


187 


105 


178 



PREPARATION 





a cutting 


i spear 








ii knife 








iii axe 






b splitting 


i spear 
ii knife 
iii awl 






c flattening 


mallet 




WORK 








1 Woven 


a trimming 


knife 






b shaping 


core 




2 Sewn 


a sewing 


i awl 
ii needle 






b shaping 


core 


a bundle of grass 
b bottle 




c trimming 


i knife 
ii shears 





108A 


183 


108D 


183 


108B 


183 




183 




183 




183 



246 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

APPENDIX 2 
SUMMARY AND INDEX OF MATERIALS USED IN BASKETWORK 

Material Figure no. Page no. 

STEMS 

1 Grass 184 

2 Reed 186 

3 Sedge 109 187 

4 Rush 190 

5 Creepers 191 

LEAVES 

lPalm 110 191 

2 Iridaceae 193 

3 Other 194 

WHOLE PLANT 194 

1 Grass 

2 Reed 

BARK 195 

PLANT FIBRES 197 
WOOD 

1 Withies 198 

2 Timber 199 

3 Root wood 201 

ANIMAL MATERIAL 

1 Sinew 201 

2 Hair 201 

3 Skin 202 

IMPORTED MATERIALS 202 

dyes (Table 1) 

1 Leaves/stem 203 

2 Bark 204 

3 Root/wood 205 

4 Fruits 206 

5 Synthetic materials 207 



BASKETWORK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



247 



APPENDIX 3 

The names of some of the plant species mentioned in the text differ from the 
currently accepted names. An alphabetical list of those names names and their 
current equivalent, according to Gibbs Russell et al. (1985, 1987), is provided 
below. 



Name used in text 



Current name 



Acacia capensis Burch. 
Acacia detinens Burch. 

Acacia decurrens var. mollis Lindl. 
Acacia horrida Willd. 
Andropogon amplectans Nees 

Andropogon cymbarius L. 
Caesalpina sepiaria Roxb. 
Commiphora fischeri Engl. 

Crinipes gynoglossa Goossens 

Cyanotis nodiflora Kunth 
Cyperus compactus Lam. 
Digitaria littoralis Stent 
Dombeya natalensis Sond. 
Elephantorrhiza birchelli (Benth.) 

Ficus capensis Thunb. 
Ficus vogelii (Miq.) Miq. 
Grewia deserticola Ulbr. 
Indigofera pretoriana Harms 
Ischaemum arcuatum (Nees) Stapf 
Hyphaene crinita Gaertn. = 

H. natalensis Kunze 
Hyphaene ventricosa Kirk 
J uncus maritimus Bak. 
Kigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC. 
Lannea stuhlmannii (Engl.) Engl. 

Miscanthidium capense Stapf 
Oplismenus africanus P. Beauv. 
Osyris abysinnica A. Rich = 

O. compress a DC. 
Phyllogeiton zeyheri (Sond.) Suesseng. 
Pouzolzia hypoleuca Wedd. 
Rhamnus zeyheri (Sond.) 
Rhynchelytrum setifolium (Stapf) 

Chiov. 
Salacia zeyheri PL 



Acacia karroo Hayne 

Acacia mellifera (Vahl) Benth. subsp. 

detinens (Burch.) 
Acacia dealbata Link 
Acacia karroo Hayne 
Diheteropogon amplectans (Nees) 

Clayton 
Hyparrhenia cymbaria Stapf 
Caesalpina decapetala (Roth.) Alston 
Commiphora mossambicensis (Oliv.) 

Engl. 
Styppeiochloa gynoglossa (Goossens) 

de Winter 
Cyanotis speciosa (L.F.) Hassk. 
Cyperus obtusiflorus Vahl 
Digitaria natalensis Stent 
Dombeya tiliacea (Endl.) Planch. 
Elephantorrhiza elephantina (Burch.) 

Skeels 
Ficus sur Forssk. 
Ficus lutea Vahl 
Grewia retinervis Burret 
Indigofera setiflora Bak. 
Ischaemum fasciculatum Brongn. 

Hyphaene coriacea Gaertn. 
Hyphaene petersiana Klutzsch 
Juncus rigidus Desf. 
Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth. 
Lannea schweinfurthii (Engl.) Engl, 
var. stuhlmanni (Engl.) Kokwaro 
Mis can thus capensis (Nees) Anderss. 
Oplismenus hirtellus (L.) Beauv. 

Osyris lanceolata Hochst. 
Berchemia zeyheri (Sond.) Grubov 
Pouzolzia mixta Solms 
Berchemia zeyheri (Sond.) Grubov 
Rhynchelytrum nerviglume (Franch.) 

Chiov. 
Cassine crocea (Thunb.) Kuntze 



248 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

APPENDIX 3 (continued) 



Name used in text 



Current name 



Sanseveria desertii N. E. Br. 
Scirpus inclinatus (Del.) Aschers & 
Schweinf. 

Scirpus paludicola Kunth 

Scirpus tegetalis Burch 

(= S. spathaceus Hochst.) 
Sclerocarya caffra Sond. 

Sporobolus indicus Stapf 

Tricholaena setifolia Stapf 

Typha latifolia subsp. capensis Rohrb. 
Xylopia antunesii Engl. & Diels 



Sanseveria pearsonii N. E. Br. 

Schoenoplectus corymbosus (Roth, ex 
Roem. & Schult.) J. Raynal 

Schoenoplectus paludicola (Kunth) Palla 
ex J. Raynal 

Scirpus inanis (Thunb.) Steud. 
Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst. 

caffra (Sond.) Kokwaro 
Sporobolus africanus (Poir.) Robyns & 

Tournay 
Rhynchelytrum nerviglume (Franch.) 

Chiov. 
Typha capensis (Rohrb.) N. E. Br. 
Xylopia odoratissima Welw. ex Oliv. 



6. SYSTEMATIC papers must conform to the International code of zoological nomenclature (particu- 
larly Articles 22 and 51). 

Names of new taxa, combinations, synonyms, etc., when used for the first time, must be followed 
by the appropriate Latin (not English) abbreviation, e.g. gen. nov., sp. nov., comb, nov., syn. nov., 
etc. 

An author's name when cited must follow the name of the taxon without intervening punctuation 
and not be abbreviated; if the year is added, a comma must separate author's name and year. The 
author's name (and date, if cited) must be placed in parentheses if a species or subspecies is trans- 
ferred from its original genus. The name of a subsequent user of a scientific name must be separated 
from the scientific name by a colon. 

Synonymy arrangement should be according to chronology of names, i.e. all published scientific 
names by which the species previously has been designated are listed in chronological order, with all 
references to that name following in chronological order, e.g.: 

Family Nuculanidae 

Nuculana (Lembulus) bicuspidata (Gould, 1845) 

Figs 14- 15 A 
Nucula (Leda) bicuspidata Gould, 1845: 37. 
Leda plicifera A. Adams, 1856: 50. - 

Laeda bicuspidata Hanley, 1859: 118, pi. 228 (fig. 73). Sowerby, 1871: pi. 2 (fig. 8a-b). 
Nucula largillierti Philippi, 1861: 87. 
Leda bicuspidata: Nickles, 1950: 163, fig. 301; 1955: 110. Barnard, 1964: 234, figs 8-9. 

Note punctuation in the above example: 

comma separates author's name and year 

semicolon separates more than one reference by the same author 

full stop separates references by different authors 

figures of plates are enclosed in parentheses to distinguish them from text-figures 

dash, not comma, separates consecutive numbers. 

Synonymy arrangement according to chronology of bibliographic references, whereby the year is 
placed in front of each entry, and the synonym repeated in full for each entry, is not acceptable. 

In describing new species, one specimen must be designated as the holotype; other specimens 
mentioned in the original description are to be designated paratypes; additional material not regarded 
as paratypes should be listed separately. The complete data (registration number, depository, descrip- 
tion of specimen, locality, collector, date) of the holotype and paratypes must be recorded, e.g.: 

Holotype 

SAM-A13535 in the South African Museum, Cape Town. Adult female from mid-tide region. King's Beach, Port Eliza- 
beth (33°51'S 25°39'E), collected by A. Smith, 15 January 1973. 

Note standard form of writing South African Museum registration numbers and date. 

7. SPECIAL HOUSE RULES 
Capital initial letters 

(a) The Figures, Maps and Tables of the paper when referred to in the text 

e.g. '. . . the Figure depicting C. namacolus ...':'... in C. namacolus (Fig. 10) . . .' 

(b) The prefixes of prefixed surnames in all languages, when used in the text, if not preceded by 
initials or full names 

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E. M. SHAW 

THE BASKETWORK OF 

SOUTHERN AFRICA 

PARTI 

TECHNOLOGY 



VOLUME 100 PART 3 



APRIL 1992 



ISSN 0303-2515 



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Bullough, W. S. 1960. Practical invertebrate anatomy. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan. 

Fischer, P. H. 1948. Donnees sur la resistance et de la vitalite des mollusques. Journal de conchyliologie 88 (3): 100-140. 

Fischer, P. H., Duval, M. & Raffy, A. 1933. Etudes sur les echanges respiratoires des littorines. Archives de zoologie 

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Kohn, A. J. 19606. Spawning behaviour, egg masses and larval development in Conus from the Indian Ocean. Bulletin of 

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ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 
ANNALE VAN DIE SUID-AFRIKAANSE MUSEUM 



Volume 100 Band 

April 1992 April 

Part 3 Deel 




THE ALCYONACEA OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 

STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS AND 

SOFT CORALS 

(COELENTERATA, ANTHOZOA) 

By 
GARY C. WILLIAMS 



Cape Town 



Kaapstad 



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Fig. 1. Living soft corals of southern Africa. A. Alcyonium variabile (Thomson, 1921) 
(Alcyoniidae); purple and orange colour morphs. B. Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910 
(Alcyoniidae); purple and orange colour morphs. C. Malacacanthus capensis (Hickson, 
1900) (Alcyoniidae). D. Anthelia sp. (Xeniidae). E. Alcyonium valdiviae Kiikenthal, 1906 
(Alcyoniidae). F. Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a (Alcyoniidae). G. Pieterfaurea 
khoisaniana (Williams, 1988) (Nidaliidae). H. Capnella thyrsoidea (Verrill, 1865) 
(Nephtheidae). I. Capnella thyrsoidea and Alcyonium fauri (white morph). 



THE ALCYONACEA OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. 

STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS AND SOFT CORALS 

(COELENTERATA, ANTHOZOA) 

By 
Gary C. Williams* 

Department of Marine Biology, South African Museum 

and Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 

(With 45 figures and 1 table) 

[MS accepted 28 July 1989] 



ABSTRACT 

Of the eleven families of stoloniferous octocorals and soft corals recognized worldwide, 
seven are represented in southern Africa. These are the families Clavulariidae, Tubiporidae, 
Coelogorgiidae, Alcyoniidae, Nidaliidae, Nephtheidae, and Xeniidae, which are recorded from 
African coastal waters south of the 20°S. Twenty-five species representing twelve genera are 
illustrated and described in detail from material housed in the collection of the South African 
Museum, Cape Town. The majority of this material has been collected since 1983 using dredges 
and SCUBA diving. This has allowed for many observations of living material in situ and in 
aquaria. Thirty-three additional species are mentioned that appear in the literature but for 
which satisfactory material is presently not available for examination. Presently undetermined 
species representing 15 genera are also mentioned. Four soft coral genera are here considered 
southern African endemics: Acrophytum, Malacacanthus , Pieterfaurea, and Verseveldtia. Six 
genera are here recorded from southern Africa for the first time: Sarcodictyon, Telestula, 
Carijoa, Minabea, Siphonogorgia and Nephthea. 

Scanning electron micrographs of sclerite form accompanies the descriptions of almost all 
species. New information has allowed re-evaluation of several species and the alteration of their 
taxonomic status. This includes recent observations on intraspecific variation. A key to all iden- 
tified genera and species presently known to occur in southern Africa is provided. 

This account of the regional soft coral and stoloniferous octocoral fauna comprises seven 
families, 32 genera and 78 species, which includes 28 genera, and 26 identified species that are 
here considered valid and to occur in southern Africa. At least 12 additional species have 
recently been collected that represent undescribed species; these have not been included in the 
present study. 

From an assessment of all collected material and literature sources, as well as the numbers 
of new records and new species recently obtained by dredging and diving surveys, it is esti- 
mated that at least 90 species of soft corals and stolonate octocorals occur in southern Africa. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Introduction '. 250 

Materials and methods 25 1 

Systematic account 252 

Key to the families of soft corals and stoloniferous octocorals in southern 

African coastal waters 252 

Descriptions 253 

Family Clavulariidae 253 

Family Tubiporidae 265 

* Present address: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, California Academy of Sciences. 
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California 94118, U.S.A. 

249 
Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 100 (3), 1992: 249-358, 45 figs, 1 table. 



250 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



PAGE 

Family Coelogorgiidae 265 

Family Alcyoniidae 266 

Family Nidaliidae 323 

Family Nephtheidae 328 

Family Xeniidae 340 

Key to the soft corals and stoloniferous octocorals of southern Africa 345 

List of soft corals and stoloniferous octocorals recorded from southern 

Africa 350 

Summary and conclusion 352 

Acknowledgements 353 

References 354 



INTRODUCTION 

Coastal southern Africa, from the Skeleton Coast of Namibia to the region 
of Beira in Mozambique, has a remarkably rich and diverse benthic fauna. The 
octocoral cnidarians are no exception, as at least 200 species may be present, 
with an extremely high percentage of endemism, perhaps 60-70 per cent. Many 
species are restricted to the region between the Cape of Good Hope and Natal, 
whereas the extensive Agulhas Bank is probably a centre of adaptive radiation 
for the region. 

The regional fauna has one' other primary component in addition to this 
endemic constituent: the Indo-Pacific element. This component, along with 
Atlantic, cosmopolitan, widespread, or scattered species, account for the 
remainder of the fauna (30-40 per cent). 

The present survey represents the second paper in a series of three covering 
the octocorals of southern Africa that have been identified and recorded to date. 
The pennatulaceans have been described in a previous paper (Williams 1990a). 
Stoloniferans and soft corals are dealt with in the present paper. Gorgonian 
octocorals will be dealt with in a subsequent paper. 

The stoloniferans (families Clavulariidae, Tubiporidae, and Coelogorgiidae) 
are relatively simple octocorals characterized by having low and rounded or cyl- 
indrical to tubular polyp calyces that are separate and individually placed. These 
arise from a thin ribbon-like or reticulating stolon that adheres to the sub- 
stratum. Colonies have separate or fused sclerites. The soft corals (families 
Alcyoniidae, Nidaliidae, Nephtheidae, and Xeniidae) are characterized by 
having polyps aggregated or concentrated into polyparies. The colonies are 
fleshy and the gastric cavities of the polyps extend to near the base of the colony 
through soft coenenchymal tissue which may or may not be impregnated with 
sclerites. An internal medulla or axis is absent. The stoloniferous families 
Taiaroidae, Cornulariidae and Pseudogorgiidae, and the soft coral families 
Paralcyoniidae and Asterospiculariidae, are not known to occur in southern 
Africa and are therefore not included in the present study. The old ordinal 
names 'Stolonifera' for the stoloniferans and 'Alcyonacea' sensu stricto (i.e. 
reserved for soft corals) are considered by Bayer (19816: 943) to be of no taxo- 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 251 

nomic value. The ordinal name Alcyonacea, as used here, follows the proposal 
of Bayer, and includes all non-helioporacean and non-pennatulacean octocorals. 

The first large-scale collecting of South African octocorals was made by the 
S.S. Pieter Fame during dredging and trawling surveys between 1898 and 1907. 
The most important literature sources describing species from the regional soft 
coral and stoloniferous octocoral fauna include Hickson (1900, 1904), Kukenthal 
(1906), Thomson (1910, 1921, 1923), Molander (19296), Broch (1939), and 
Tixier-Durivault (1954, 1960). Day et al. (1970) and Day (1974) listed the distri- 
butions of many common species; Branch & Branch (1981) provided colour and 
black-and-white photographs of a few of the most common intertidal and 
shallow subtidal species; and Williams (1986a, 19866, 1987a, 19876, 1988, 
19896, 19906) gave detailed descriptions of several species. 

The benthic environment of southern Africa is extremely varied. A very 
high percentage of endemism is evident. Day et al. (1970: 2) reported that 
approximately 66 per cent of the benthic invertebrate species from False Bay are 
South African endemics. Millard (1978: 182) concluded that, with regard to the 
hydroid fauna, zoogeographical characteristics point to an active centre of evol- 
ution in the South African region. This can be applied to other invertebrate 
groups as well. Williams (19866, in press a, in press 6) provide a more detailed 
account of the regional zoogeography and geographical definition, particularly 
regarding the octocoral fauna. Species of soft corals and stoloniferous octocorals 
in this study have been collected from the littoral (e.g. Alcyonium fauri) to a 
depth of 468 m on the edge of the continental shelf (e.g. Anthomastus gigan- 
teus). Areas of concentrated collecting with regard to recently procured material 
include (from west to east): the Atlantic coast of the Cape of Good Hope Penin- 
sula, False Bay, the Danger Point-Dyer Island region, Cape Agulhas and the 
Agulhas Bank, Algoa Bay, the offshore region between East London and south- 
ern Natal including Transkei, the Durban area, and Sodwana Bay. Older 
records include scattered localities along the west coasts of the Cape Province 
and Namibia, many south and east coast localities, Inhaca Island, and southern 
Mozambique. 

The classification system used in this study at the ordinal and familial levels 
conforms to Bayer (19816). Nomenclature conforms to the trilingual glossary of 
Bayer et al. (1983). The abbreviation SAM refers to the South African Museum. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS 

Recently procured material was collected by means of intertidal collecting, 
snorkelling, SCUBA diving, or dredging from the littoral zone to 500 m in 
depth at many localities between Cape Columbine on the west coast of South 
Africa to Sodwana Bay, northern Natal. 

Live material was relaxed in a solution of magnesium chloride and sea- 
water, then preserved in 70 per cent ethanol. Some particularly delicate colonies 
were first fixed in buffered 10 per cent formalin before transfer to ethanol. 



252 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Sclerites were isolated by excising a small piece of tissue (<10 mm 3 ) and 
placing it in a small vial with a few drops of concentrated sodium hypochlorite to 
disassociate the sclerites from the tissue. Sclerites were then washed repeatedly in 
water, and finally transferred to ethanol. The sclerite and alcohol suspension was 
then pipetted on to microscope slides. Canada balsam was used as a permanent 
mounting medium, whereas glycerine was used for temporary purposes. Draw- 
ings from dissecting or compound microscopes were made using a camera lucida. 

Scanning electron micrographs were made with a Cambridge S180 or S200 
SEM. Alcohol suspensions of minute sclerites were pipetted on to circular pieces 
of exposed and developed black-and-white photographic paper, which were 
glued to the surface of a stub. Larger sclerites were arranged individually on a 
stub with a fine camel-hair brush and SEM glue. 



SYSTEMATIC ACCOUNT 

KEY TO THE FAMILIES OF STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS AND SOFT CORALS 
IN SOUTHERN AFRICAN COASTAL WATERS 

1A. Colonies attached to substrata by narrow basal stolons, or stolon reduced 
to a spreading holdfast, or stolons form multi-layered platforms 
(Figs ID, 7A) 2 

IB. Colonies without true stolons. Colonies attached to substrata by basal hold- 
fast or membranous sheets (Fig. 16A) 4 

2A. Colonies with stolons forming multi-layered platforms above the sub- 
stratum Tubiporidae 

2B. Colonies arborescent with a spreading holdfast or colonies forming a single 
layer with separate polyps arising from a basal stolon 3 

3A. Colonies arborescent, polyps not retractile, distinct anthosteles not present. 
Stolon reduced to a spreading holdfast Coelogorgiidae 

3B. Colonies composed of separate polyps arising from a basal stolon, anthoco- 
diae retractile into distinct anthosteles or into base of polyp. Stolons well 
developed, rounded, flattened, ribbon-like or reticulate Clavulariidae 

4A. Mesenterial filaments two. Sclerites, if present, are reduced to minute cir- 
cular or oval platelets (<0,05 mm in diameter). Shallow water, usually 
littoral to 30 m; Indo-Pacific, central Transkei to Mozambique . . Xeniidae 

4B. Mesenterial filaments eight. Sclerites usually present, conspicuous, densely 
distributed, and of variable form. Littoral to 500 m; entire coastline 5 

5A. Polyps grouped together in clusters or catkins, adjacent polyps sharing a 
common base. Polyps with a non-retractile base (a stalk) composed of 
dense sclerites Nephtheidae 

5B. Polyps separate, not grouped together into clusters or catkins. Polyps some- 
times with a basal calyx composed of sclerites, but often totally retractile 
into coenenchyme of colony 6 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 253 

6A. Colonies usually fleshy, sclerites usually <1 mm in length and not generally 
longitudinally disposed, sclerites sometimes reduced or absent. Calyces 
present or absent Alcyoniidae 

6B. Colonies with a rigid consistency, outer surface rough, containing large 

tuberculate sclerites, longitudinally placed, permanent calyces present 

Nidaliidae 

DESCRIPTIONS 

Family Clavulariidae Hickson, 1894 

Stoloniferous octocorals that encrust hard or firm objects such as rock, 
mollusc shells, coral fragments, sponges and worm tubes. Anthocodiae retractile 
into low conical, cylindrical, or tall tubular anthosteles. In addition to basal 
stolons, polyps may be linked laterally by some elevated stolonic bars but not by 
an elevated series of transverse calcareous platforms. Sclerites numerous; 
usually thorny or tuberculate rods, spindles, or needles; sometimes fused. 

Three subfamilies are currently recognized with 14 genera of cosmopolitan 
distribution. 

Subfamily Clavulariinae Bayer, 1981a 

Anthosteles longer than wide; cylindrical, tubular or slightly clavate. Polyps 
usually solitary; secondary, lateral polyps rarely if ever bud from main polyps. 
Sclerites tuberculated rods, spindles, and crosses; sometimes fused. 

Four genera. 

Genus Clavularia de Blainville, 1830 

Clavularia de Blainville, 1830: 464. Bayer, 1956: F184. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 19. Weinberg, 
1978: 143. 

Diagnosis 

Calyces cylindrical, arising from band-like or spreading stolons. Sclerites 
numerous, usually spiny spindles, rods, or needles. 

Approximately 40 described species; widespread, Atlantic and Indo-Paciflc. 

Type species. Clavularia viridis Quoy & Gaimard, in Milne Edwards & 
Haime, 1850; Indo-Paciflc. 

Clavularia cylindrica Wright & Studer, 1889 

Clavularia cylindrica Wright & Studer, 1889: 258, pi. 43 (figs 9-10). Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 
124. Day etai, 1970: 16. 

Remarks 

Tixier-Durivault (1954) merely listed this species, without description or 
figures, from south of Cape Point at 547 m. Day et al. (1970) listed the same 
without description along the south coast from Cape Point to Jeffrey's Bay up to 
20 m depth. Wright & Studer (1889) originally described the species from 



254 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Tristan da Cunha at 183-274 m. Because of the lack of descriptions and lack of 
material for examination, it is impossible to determine if the subsequent records 
actually pertain to this species. According to Wright & Studer, the cylindrical 
calyces are 4-6 mm in height with 8 longitudinal ribs. The calyx sclerites are 
stout thorny spindles up to 0,43 mm in length. Tentacle sclerites are blunt, 
straight, spiny spindles up to 0,2 mm long. Colour yellowish-white. 

I consider the presence of C. cylindrica in southern Africa to be dubious. 

Clavularia diademata Broch, 1939 

Clavuiaria diademata Broch, 1939: 5, figs 2-5. 

Remarks 

This species was described from a single small colony from Table Bay at 
20 m depth, and has not been recorded since the original description. Broch 
(1939) assigned this material to the genus Clavularia with hesitation and dis- 
tinguished the species by the presence of 16 points in the anthocodia — 
8 tentacular (or primary) and 8 inter-tentacular (or secondary) ones. The 
8 primary points are joined proximally by a transverse band of tuberculate 
needles or slender spindles up to 9,4 mm long. The tentacles have a few rod-like 
sclerites arranged longitudinally. The stolons and calyces have numerous needle- 
like tuberculated sclerites 0,5-0,6 rnm long. 

Clavularia elongata Wright & Studer, 1889 

Clavularia elongata Wright & Studer, 1889: 257, pi. 42 (fig. 11). 
Clavularia elongata var. africana Thomson, 1921: 153. 

Remarks 

Thomson (1921) named a new variation of this species, C. elongata var. 
africana from Cape Infanta at 77 m, without description or figures. Wright & 
Studer (1889) described the type locality as 1829 m off the Azores. It is not 
possible to determine if Thomson's specimen is in fact C. elongata without a 
comparison of material. According to Wright & Studer, the species is 
distinguished by having tentacles strongly beset with sclerites, and the calyx wall 
flexible but with numerous large spiny spindles, which are often curved and 
somewhat club-shaped. 

I consider the presence of C. elongata as a dubious record for southern 
Africa. 

Clavularia parva Tixier-Durivault, 1964 

Clavularia parva Tixier-Durivault, 1964: 46, figs 7-8. 

Remarks 

This species was described from Ponta Zavora, southern Mozambique, at 
590 m depth. Tixier-Durivault (1964) distinguished the species by the low 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 255 

rotund anthosteles with eight longitudinal ridges, long tubular anthocodia and 
neck zones strongly impregnated with sclerites of tuberculated spindles, some 
curved and up to 0,26 mm long. Some sclerites of the stolons may be club- 
shaped. The species has apparently not been recorded since the original 
description. 

Clavularia spp. 

Remarks 

Material assignable to the genus Clavularia, representing perhaps two or 
three species, has recently been collected in False Bay (western Cape), Algoa 
Bay (southern Cape), off the Transkei Coast, and Sodwana Bay, at 6-490 m 
(Williams 1989a: 142; in press b). Because of the uncertain status of many of the 
species described in this genus and the present unavailability of certain 
specimens for examination, it is not possible to identify this material to species 
level. Part of the material may be conspecific with species already described for 
southern Africa and part may represent undescribed species. 

Tixier-Durivault (1954: 124, figs 1-2) identified material from a shore 
station at Port St Johns (Transkei coast) as Clavularia capensis (Studer, 1879). 
Examination of Tixier-Durivault's material has shown that this material actually 
represents an undetermined species of Clavularia and cannot be aligned with 
Studer's Anthelia capensis. Material conspecific with that of Tixier-Durivault has 
recently been collected from the sublittoral coral reefs of Sodwana Bay, 
12-20 m in depth (Williams 1989a, in press b). 

Remarks on the genus Clavularia 

Approximately 40 species have been described world-wide. Many of the 
original descriptions lack sufficient detail to clearly assign diagnostic features. 
Thus accurate determination of material to species is very difficult. A revision of 
the genus, involving a detailed comparison of available type material, is needed. 

Genus Bathytelesto Bayer, 1981a 

Telesto (Telesto) Wright & Studer, 1889: 260 (part.). 

Telesto Laackmann, 1908: 41 {part.). Kukenthal, 1913: 229 {part.). Deichmann, 1936: 40 

(part.). 
Bathytelesto Bayer, 1981a: 884. Williams, 19896: 622. 

Diagnosis 

Secondary polyps sometimes arise from walls of primary polyps. Antho- 
steles long and slender, flaring slightly toward distal ends; walls composed of 
inseparably fused tuberculate sclerites. Proximal portion of anthostele cavity 
may or may not be filled with spiculiferous mesogleal intrusive material. Base of 
anthostele without calcareous lattices. 

Two species, one from the northern Atlantic and one from the south- 
western Indian Ocean. 



256 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Type species. Telesto rigida Wright & Studer, 1889, by subsequent 
designation; Azores. 

Bathy telesto tubuliporoides Williams, 19896 

Figs 2-3 
Bathytelesto tubuliporoides Williams, 19896: 622-632, text-figs 1-5, pis 1-3. 

Material 

SAM-H3747, off Sandy Point, Transkei (32°39,2'S 28°45,2'E), 450 m, 
14 July 1984, many polyps attached to sponge and dead coral, dredge, coll. 
G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). H3748, off Rame Head, Transkei 
(31°50,0'S 29°22,7'E), 65-70 m, 15 July 1982, several polyps attached to bits of 
shell, dredge, coll. Natal Museum (R.V. Meiring Naude). H3749, off East 
London (33°10,3'S 28°06,2'E), 100 m, 17 July 1984, several polyps attached to 
rock, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). H3750, off Sandy 
Point, Transkei (32°39,2'S 28°45,2'E), 450 m, 14 July 1984, many polyps 
attached to sponge, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 

Description 

The polyps examined range from 5-13 mm in length, 1 mm in width at the 
base and 1,5-2,0 mm in width at distal end. Anthosteles are clavate or trumpet- 
shaped, straight, curved or bent. Primary polyps with or without secondary 
polyps budding from anthostelar walls. Stolons flattened, encrusting surface of 
rocks sponges, dead corals, or shells. Wall of polyp tube brittle and inflexible; 
composed of inseparably fused sclerites that do not disassociate in concentrated 
sodium hypochlorite. Free and partially fused sclerites are highly irregular in 
shape and variously tuberculated, mostly rods, spindles, and antlers. Antho- 
codiae are capable of complete retraction into anthosteles and have 8 strong 
interseptal points, and slender and sparsely thorny spindles arranged more-or- 
less longitudinally; no crown is developed. Free sclerites up to 0,3 mm in 
length. Basal region of polyp tube filled with a matrix of intrusive mesogleal 
material containing partially fused, branched sclerites; no calcareous tubules or 
canals present. Colour of colonies white or greyish-white to brownish-white. 

Distribution 

Presently known only from the eastern Cape, Transkei, and Natal coasts of 
South Africa, depth 65-450 m. Type locality is Transkei. 

Remarks 

The species differs from Bathytelesto rigida (Wright & Studer, 1889) and 
Rhodelinda gardineri (Gohar, 1940) by the following combination of charac- 
teristics: highly irregular form of the free sclerites, possession of spiculiferous 
mesogleal matrix in the proximal region of the gastric cavities, possession of 
secondary and tertiary polyps in some colonies, and anthocodia with 8 strong 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



25' 



interseptal points, sclerites arranged longitudinally, crown not evident. 
Bathytelesto rigida is known from west of the Azores at 3 064 m, whereas 
R. gardineri has been collected from Subantarctic islands (Tristan, Gough, and 
Macquarie), 40-180 m in depth. See Williams (19896) for a discussion of 
problems in distinguishing the several genera related to Bathytelesto. 




Fig. 2. Bathytelesto tubuliporoides Williams, 19896. A. Colony growing on a dead coral 
fragment; total length of figure 20 mm. B. Single anthostele with anthocodia retracted, 
proximal portion of anthostele cut longitudinally to reveal internal structure; total length of 
figure 10 mm. C. Transverse section through base of anthostele showing a non-partitioned 
gastric cavity filled with spiculiferous mesogleal matrix; total diameter of figure 1 mm. 
D. Three sclerites from the spiculiferous mesogleal matrix. E. Free and partly fused sclerites 
from the anthostele and interior of stolon. Scale bar for D-E = 0,2 mm. F. Two anthocodial 
sclerites; scale bar =1,0 mm. Abbreviations: aw — anthostelar wall, g — gonad, gc — gastric 
cavity, mf — mesenterial filament, ph — pharynx, s — stolon, smm — spiculiferous mesogleal 

matrix. 



258 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Genus Scyphop odium Bayer, 1981a 

non Cyathopodium Verrill, 1868: 415. 
Cyathopodium Madsen, 1944: 11. 
Scyphopodium Bayer, 1981a: 880. 

Remarks 

The genus was named by Bayer (1981a: 880) to accommodate the species 
Cyathopodium ingolfi Madsen (1944: 12), since Cyathopodium Verrill, 1868, 
applies to a different genus. 

Apparently monospecific and widespread, known from the North Atlantic, 
Mediterranean, and South Africa, from 500 m to over 1 000 m in depth. 

Scyphopodium ingolfi (Madsen, 1944) 

Cyathopodium ingolfi Madsen, 1944: 12, figs 9-14. 
Scyphopodium ingolfi Bayer, 1981a: 881, fig. 2. 

Material 

SAM-H3795, off Leven Point, northern Natal (27°59,5'S 32°40,8'E), 
550 m, 22 May 1976, heavy dredge, coll. S.A. Museum (R.V. Meiring Naude). 
Determinations by F. M. Bayer and H. Zibrowius. 

Description 

According to Madsen (1944) and Bayer (1981a), the species is characterized 
by rigid encrusting stolons and cylindrical anthosteles usually less than 5 mm in 
height with rigid body walls composed of fused, branching sclerites. Basal 
portion of anthostele with 8 longitudinal canals formed by thin calcareous 
septae. Canals filled with intrusion of fused sclerites. Upper part of anthostele 
and anthocodia with free sclerites of tuberculated rods and crosses less than 
0,1 mm in length. Colour white. 

Distribution 

The species is reported from the Azores, Crete, Iceland, Agulhas Bank 
south of Knysna (Cape Province), and northern Natal, South Africa (Bayer 
1981a: 883; Williams in press a). Type locality is south of Iceland. 

Remarks 

The proximal portion of a single anthostele and part of a stolon 
(SAM-H3795) attached to the base of a dried skeleton of the solitary sclerac- 
tinian coral, Trochocyathus rawsonii (sensu Gardiner 1904, non Pourtales, 1874) 
(SAM-H3191), is held in the SAM collection. This partial specimen is insuffi- 
cient material to give an adequate description of the species. (See Bayer (1981a: 
881) and Madsen (1944: 11) for detailed descriptions and figures.) 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



259 




Fig. 3. Scanning electron micrographs of Bathytelesto tubuliporoides Williams, 198%. 

A. A single anthostele, 3,0 mm in length, with anthocodia removed. B. Same, showing under- 

view of stolon. C. Another anthostele, 4,6 mm in length. D-H. Free anthostelar sclerites. 

D. 0,15 mm. E. 0,054 mm. F. 0,10 mm. G. 0,15 mm. H. Both 0,13 mm. 



260 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Subfamily Sarcodictyinae Bayer, 1981a 

Polyp calyces low, often retracting almost completely into stolons; or 
calyces non-retractile, conical to tall cylindrical. Polyps do not bud secondary 
lateral polyps. Sclerites often slightly flattened to plate-like. 

Five genera. 



Genus Sarcodictyon Forbes, in Johnston, 1847 

Evagora Philippi, 1842: 36. Kiikenthal, 1916: 458. Molander, 1929a: 40. 

non Evagora Peron & Lesueur, 1810 (Hydrozoa). Laporte & Gory, 1839 (Coleoptera). 

Sarcodictyon Forbes, in Johnston, 1847: 179. Hickson, 1930: 210 (part.). Deichmann, 1936: 37. 

Bayer, 1956: F184; 1981a: 885. Manuel, 1981: 36. 
Rolandia Lacaze Duthiers, 1900: 424. Weinberg, 1978: 166. 

Diagnosis 

Polyps retractile into stolons forming rounded or conical protuberances. 
Stolons narrow, often forming reticulating network. Sclerites often somewhat 
flattened six-radiates or tuberculated rods and crosses. Anthocodial sclerites 
sparse or absent. 

A genus of perhaps 7 species, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Sarcodictyon roseum Philippi, 1842 (by subsequent desig- 
nation); Europe. 

Remarks 

Several examples have recently been collected off the Transkei coast 
between 240 m and 360 m depth. The reticulating stolons encrust hard objects 
such as shells, coral rubble and rock. Expanded polyps up to 5 mm in height, 
cylindrical. Sclerites are six-radiates and rods, very few crosses present. Colour 
reddish-orange. 

The southern African species is indeterminable at present as pertinent liter- 
ature sources are unavailable. It differs markedly from S. catenatum of the 
Atlantic and S. roseum from the Mediterranean by possessing a very low pro- 
portion of cross-shaped sclerites. 

This study establishes the first record of the genus for southern Africa. 

Genus Scleranthelia Studer, 1878 

Scleranthelia Studer, 1878: 137. Molander, 1929: 29. Aurivillius, 1931: 33. Tixier-Durivault, 

1966: 19. Bayer, 1981a: 890. 
Skleranthelia Studer, 1879: 634. Bayer, 1956: F200. 

Diagnosis 

Calyces rigid non-retractile; conical, cylindrical, or tubular. Anthocodia 
completely retractile. Stolons often reticulate or membranous. Stolons and 
calyces covered with large pavement-like layer of contiguous, often flattened, 
plate-like sclerites. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 261 

Two species of the Mediterranean, north Atlantic, and south-western 
Indian oceans. 

Type species. Sarcodictyon rugosum Pourtales, 1867 (by subsequent desig- 
nation); Cuba, 494 m in depth. 

Scleranthelia thomsoni Williams, 1987a 

Figs 4-5 

non Skleranthelia musiva Studer, 1879: 634. Bayer, 1956: F200. 

non Scleranthelia musiva (Studer, 1879) Thomson, 1921: 153, text-fig. 1, pi. 5 (fig. 1). 

Scleranthelia sp. indet. Molander, 1929a: 29. 

Scleranthelia thomsoni Williams, 1987a: 207-218, figs 1-8. 

Material 

SAM-H3687, off East London, eastern Cape Province (33°10,3'S 
28°06,2'E), 100 m, 17 July 1984, many polyps attached to coral and sponge 
rubble, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 

Description 

Mature colonies consist of many crowded polyps arising from band-like or 
spreading stolons. Calyces rigid, conical, cylindrical, to elongate-tubular, up to 
15 mm in length and 3 mm in width. Anthocodiae completely retractile into 
calyces. Surface of calyces covered with a mosaic of close-fitting (but not fused) 
plate-like sclerites, 0,5-1,6 mm long. Abcalicular surface usually with rounded 
protuberances <0,1 mm in diameter. Calicular surface usually densely covered 
with minute prickly tubercles. Anthocodiae possess narrow rod-like sclerites 
with sparse rounded tubercles; sclerites 0,20-0,45 mm long. Proximal region of 
gastric cavities contain a matrix of mesogleal material and numerous unfused 
irregular and thorny sclerites 0,16-0,32 mm long. These sclerites may be found 
sparsely impregnating the gastric cavity wall of the calyx and underlying the 
pavement-like plates of the stolons. Entire surface of calyces and stolons 
covered with a thin, brownish, horn-like cuticle. Colour of colonies dull yellow- 
ish to pinkish-tan or brownish or greyish-white. 

Distribution 

East London to Durban, 85-340 m in depth (Williams in press a); probably 
endemic to southern Africa. Recorded from Tulear, Madagascar by Tixier- 
Durivault (1966, 1972): an examination of this material is necessary to validate 
its status. Type locality Gonubie, eastern Cape Province. 

Subfamily Telestinae Bayer, 198 ia 

Primary polyps tall and cylindrical, often with secondary polyps budding 
laterally; with monopodial branching. Sclerites are thorny, slender rods and 
spindles or robust, coarsely tuberculated spindles. 

Four genera. 



262 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Genus Carijoa F. Miiller, 1867 
Carijoa F. Miiller, 1867: 330. 

Diagnosis 

Axial region of colony interior hollow. Primary polyp long and thin with 
many lateral secondary polyps. Sclerites are thorny, slender rods and spindles, 
often branched. Some sclerites may be fused forming clumps. Colour whitish. 

Several species of primarily tropical distribution. 

Type species. Carijoa rupicola F. Miiller, 1867 (by original designation). 
Remarks 

Telesto arborea Wright & Studer, 1889, has been recorded by Tixier- 
Durivault (1954: 126; 1960: 359) from southern Natal to Inhaca Island, Mozam- 
bique, and by Day (1974: 33) from Port Shepstone, Natal, to Inhambane, 
Mozambique. However, recently collected material from 52 m depth off Dur- 
ban, and other material labelled Telesto arborea and T. trichostemma (Dana, 
1846) in the South African Museum collection, all possess characteristics 
common to the genus Carijoa (as defined by Bayer 19816: 906): slender, branch- 
ing sclerites of the calyx body wall with some sclerites fused forming clumps; 
sclerites with thorns or prickles; colony colour white. 

The two generic names Telesto and Carijoa, have often been applied to the 
same species by various authors, whereas Wright & Studer (1889: 262) consid- 
ered Carijoa as a subgenus of Telesto. According to Bayer (19816: 906), Telesto 
differs from Carijoa by having robust, blunt spindles, often with ornamentation 
of outer surface rounded or smooth, and with coarser tuberculation on the 
opposite surface; walls of axial polyp with one ring of solenia; colony colour 
reddish to orange. 

Because of the need for a revision of these taxa, it is at present not tenable 
to identify this material to species. The present study establishes a new record of 
the genus for southern Africa. 

Genus Telestula Madsen, 1944 
Telestula Madsen, 1944: 16. Bayer, 1956: F186. 

Diagnosis 

Polyps long and tubular. Base of calyx interior filled with mesogleal 
intrusion material mixed with sclerites. Polyps commonly solitary but may bud 
lateral secondary polyps. Stolons may form multi-layered platforms or sheets. 

Four species of northern Europe, West Indies, and Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Telestula septentrionalis Madsen, 1944 (by original desig- 
nation); Iceland. 

Remarks 

Material recently collected from the Transkei coast at 460 m depth is 
assignable to this genus. The largest anthostele is 25 mm long and 2,5 mm 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



263 



wide. The stolon encrusts the surface of a rock and forms a broadened 
expansion 6 mm in width from which four cylindrical anthosteles arise. The 
interior of the base of one polyp examined is densely filled with a spiculiferous 
mesogleal matrix. Sclerites of the body wall are slender to broad spindles or oval 
plates 0,12-0,54 mm in length, thickly set with coarse tubercles. Colour of 
colony brownish. 




Fig. 4. Scleranthelia thomsoni Williams, 1987a. A. An entire colony; scale 
bar =10 mm. B. A single anthostele with anthocodia retracted, 12 mm length. 
C. Three anthocodial sclerites. D. Four sclerites from the spiculiferous mesogleal 
matrix contained in the basal interior of the polyps. C-D. Scale bar = 0,2 mm. 
E. Five plate-like sclerites from anthostelar wall, sclerite at left shows outer surface, 
other four sclerites show inner surface; scale bar = 0,5 mm. 



264 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 5. Scanning electron micrographs of Scleranthelia thomsoni Williams, 1987a. A-C. Three 
plates from the calyx wall showing the inner surface. A. 0,95 mm. B. 1,14 mm. C. 0,9 mm. 

D. Detail of inner surface from a calicular plate; total length of micrograph = 0,22 mm. 

E. A calicular plate showing the outer surface; 0,9 mm in length. F. Detail of outer surface 

of a calicular plate; total length of micrograph = 0,165 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 265 

This study represents the first record of the genus to the southern African 
region. The material has at present not been identified to species as not all 
pertinent literature sources are presently available. 

Family Tubiporidae Ehrenberg, 1828 

Polyps with lateral connections of multi-layered stolons or transverse 
platforms, placed at regular or irregular intervals. Anthocotlia retractile. 
Two genera of the Indo-Pacific. 

Genus Tubipora Linnaeus, 1758 
Tubipora Linnaeus, 1758: 789. Bayer, 1956: F184. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 22. 

Diagnosis 

Anthocodia retractile into calcareous, tubular anthostele. Anthostele walls 
form rigid tubes of solidly fused sclerites. Polyp tubes joined laterally by an 
elevated series of transverse platforms that contain solenia. Sclerites of antho- 
codia free to partly fused; mostly tuberculate spindles. Colonies form rounded 
clumps. Colour red to reddish-violet. 

A monotypic genus of the Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Tubipora musica Linnaeus, 1758 (by monotypy); Indo- 
Pacific. 

Tubipora musica Linnaeus, 1758 
Fig. 6 

Remarks 

Characters of the genus. A variable species. Beach-worn skeletons of the 
organ-pipe coral may be encountered washed ashore in Mozambique and 
possibly Natal. Living material has been observed at Santa Carolina, Mozam- 
bique (G. M. Branch pers. comm.). The diameter of the tubes ranges from 0,7 
to 2,0 mm. Distance between adjacent platforms may vary from 5 to 10 mm. 
Branch & Branch (1981: 151) reported the species as being commonly washed 
ashore on southern African beaches. 

Family Coelogorgiidae Bayer, 1981a 

Polyps contractile, but not retractile. Polyps not divided into delimited 
anthocodia and anthostele. Stolon reduced to a spreading holdfast. Colour 
white. 

Monogeneric. 

Genus Coelogorgia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857 

Coelogorgia Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857: 191. Bayer, 1956: F186. Tixier-Durivault, 
1966: 24. 



266 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Diagnosis 

Colonies bushy, arborescent. Axial polyps very long. Lateral polyps short 
and numerous. Axial regions of colonies hollow. Primary polyp wall thickened 
and penetrated by numerous solenia. Sclerites are tuberculated spindles, some 
club-shaped. 

Presumably a monotypic genus; western Indian Ocean. 

Type species. Coelogorgia palmosa Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857 (by 
monotypy); Indian Ocean. 

Coelogorgia palmosa Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857 

Remarks 

Tixier-Durivault (1960: 359) recorded this species from Inhaca Island, 
southern Mozambique. Tixier-Durivault (1972: 17) listed it from Zanzibar, 
Inhaca, Aldabra (Seychelles), and Madagascar. The species is not known from 
any other southern African locality. 

Family Alcyoniidae Lamouroux, 1812 

Colonies membranous or fleshy and upright. Polyps monomorphic or 
dimorphic; placed singly, not joined into catkins or clusters. Sclerites usually 
present; most commonly spindles although radiates, capstans, rods, needles, and 
clubs also occur. 

About 15 genera of cosmopolitan distribution, very common in the Indo- 
Pacific. 

Genus Acrophytum Hickson, 1900 
Acrophytum Hickson, 1900: 74. Bayer, 1981ft: 913. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies digitiform: unbranched, finger-like. Stalk length usually less than 
one-half of total length. Polypary conical, elongate, tapering distally with 
rounded terminus. Polyps dimorphic. Sclerites are primarily tuberculated clubs, 
or club-shaped spindles, coarsely warty, up to 0,35 mm long. Sclerites dense in 
surface coenenchyme of polyparium and stalk, sparse or absent in the interior. 

A monotypic genus of the southern and eastern coast of South Africa. 

Type species. Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900 (by monotypy); South 
Africa. 

Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900 

Figs 7-8 

Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900: 74, pi. 4 (figs 4, 4'). Thomson, 1921: 170; 1923: 47, 69. 

Broch, 1939: 11. Bayer, 1956: 188. Alderslade, 1985: 105, figs 1-6. 
Metalcyonium natalensis Thomson, 1910: 559, pi. 1 (fig. 2), pi. 3 (figs 15, 18), pi. 4 

(fig. 39a-c). 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



267 




Fig. 6. Tubipora musica Linnaeus, 1758. A. Lateral view of a beach-worn skeleton of a 
colony; length of photograph = 105 mm. B. Dorsal view of same; length of photo- 
graph = 95 mm. 



268 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Material 

SAM-H967 (paralectotype), Algoa Bay (33°53'15"S 25°51'43"E), 47 m, 
6 December 1898, 1 colony, coll. not known. SAM-H910, off Great Fish Point, 
eastern Cape Province (33°30'S 27°10'E), 64 m, 20 May 1905, 2 colonies, large 
trawl, coll. S.S. Pieter Fame survey, PF 18703. SAM-H911, off Cove Rock 
south-west of East London (33°06'S 27°49'E), 36-55 m, 6 June 1905, 1 colony, 
large trawl, S.S. Pieter Fame survey, PF 18706. SAM-H1039, off Great Fish 
Point (33°30'S 27°10'E), 64 m, 20 May 1905, 1 colony, large trawl, S.S. Pieter 
Fame survey, PF 18703. 

Description 

Colonies examined are up to 150 mm in length. The stalk varies from one 
fourth to one-half total colony length, but commonly less than one third. Col- 
onies digitiform, tapering distally, apex rounded. Sharp demarcation between 
polyparium and stalk. Polyparium elongate-conical or finger-like. Polyps 
dimorphic although siphonozooids may not be apparent in smaller or tightly 
contracted colonies <70 mm in length. Autozooids completely retractile. 
Calyces absent. Extended autozooids approximately 6 mm in length. Siphono- 
zooids between two adjacent autozooids often about five in number in colonies 
>70 mm, and often up to 1,0 mm in height. Polyps numerous and completely 
covering polyparium, evenly distributed. Anthocodial sclerites apparently 
absent. Oral surface of tentacles covered with several rows of pinnules, 
appearing clustered in contracted specimens. Surface of colony densely 
spiculated. Interior coenenchyme with very few irregularly-shaped rod-like 
sclerites and spindles, or internal sclerites totally absent. Sclerites of the 
polyparium are tuberculated clubs, 0.17-0,35 mm in length. Tubercles mostly 
large, prickly to rounded and almost smooth. Sclerites of stalk are also mainly 
clubs but are more pronounced with spheroid heads, 0,20-0,35 mm long, 
tubercles numerous. Colony colour in life light mauve-purple with flesh-coloured 
polyps and brownish stalk. In alcohol, colour fades to dull brownish. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to South Africa; Cape St Francis and Algoa Bay to 
Port Durnford, Natal; depth range 30-146 m (Williams in press a). Type locality 
is Algoa Bay. 

Remarks 

The genus Minabea Utinomi, 1957. is known from the western Pacific 
(Japan and the Australian Great Barrier Reef). Two species are described at 
present. Species of Minabea are also digitiform and dimorphic. The genus differs 
from Acrophytum by possessing surface sclerites of double heads or double stars 
and capstans, and interior sclerites of capstans and narrow spindles. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



269 



av* 
















Fig. 7 Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900. A. Colony with exerted autozooids. B. Colony 
with retracted autozooids. A-B. Scale bar = 30 mm. C. Detail of polyparium surface showing 
autozooids, siphonozooids, and sclerites; scale bar = 2 mm. D. Sclerites from the polyparium. 
E. Sclerites from the stalk. D-E. Scale bar = 0,3 mm. Abbreviations: a — autozooid, 

s — siphonozooid, sc — sclerite. 



270 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 8. Scanning electron micrographs of Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900. A-G. Clubs 
from the surface of the polyparium. A. 0,58 mm. B. 0,42 mm. C. 0,3 mm. D. 0,27 mm. 
E. 0,39 mm. F. 0,36 mm. G. 0,37 mm. H-I. Clubs from the surface of the stalk. 

H. 0,22 mm. I. 0,17 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 271 

Dimorphism in smaller colonies of Acrophytum claviger is usually not 
apparent. It may be that siphonozooids are present only in large colonies, where 
greater facility of internal water circulation is needed, or that siphonozooids 
develop in large breeding colonies only. Colonies less than 70 mm in length that 
are apparently monomorphic are distinguished by the lack of non-retractile 
calyces, sclerites that are clubs (<0,35 mm long) densely distributed in the 
surface layer of the polyparium, and stalk and internal sclerites very sparse or 
altogether absent. 

Genus Alcyonium Linnaeus, 1758 

Alcyonium Linnaeus, 1758: 803. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 28. Manuel, 1981: 40. 
Parerythropodium Kiikenthal, 1916: 461. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 101. Manuel, 1981: 44. 

Diagnosis 

Colonial growth form highly variable: colony may be upright, with a 
definite basal stalk, and with a multi-lobed, digitate, capitate, digitiform, or disc- 
shaped polyparium; or colony prostrate, without a definite stalk, with a 
membranous to encrusting or globular polyparium. Polyps monomorphic. 
Sclerites are often tuberculate spindles; capstans, rods, clubs, and needles also 
common. 

A cosmopolitan genus of many species. 

Type species. Alcyonium digitatum Linnaeus, 1758. 

Alcyonium distinctum Williams, 1988 

Figs 9-10 

Alcyonium distinctum Williams, 1988: 2-7, figs 1-4. 

Material 

SAM-H3910, off Cape St Francis, Cape Province (34°16'S 24°50'E), 35 m, 
15 January 1986, one whole colony, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved. SAM-H3909 
(paratype), same data as SAM-3910. SAM-H3911, off Cape Agulhas, Cape 
Province (34°52'S 20°05'E), 54 m, 23 February 1985, single colony cut 
longitudinally into two halves, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved (Sea Fisheries 
Research Institute, Line Fish Survey). 

Description 

Colonies examined measure 30-50 mm in height and 30-60 mm in 
diameter. Colonial growth form is lobate. Stalk short and thick (10-15 mm in 
height and 30-40 mm in diameter). Polyparium with 2-5 main branches that 
further ramify distally to produce rounded, swollen or spheroid terminal lobes 
(5-12 mm long). Polyps concentrated on lobes, sparse on surfaces of branches. 
Polyps usually preserved exerted (1-2 mm in length), but capable of total 
retraction into polyparium. Calyces absent. Sclerites restricted to the surface 
region of the stalk, absent from all other parts of colony. Sclerites are 



272 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



tuberculate spheroids, some approaching barrels or eight-radiates, 0,08- 
0,15 mm in length. Colony colour vivid purple in life, fading to cream or 
brownish-white in alcohol. 

Distribution 

The species is known only from the south coast of South Africa — Cape 
Agulhas and Cape St Francis, 35-54 m in depth (Williams 1988; in press a); 
apparently endemic to southern Africa. Type locality is Cape St Francis. 





Fig. 9. Alcyonium distinctum Williams, 1988. A. An entire colony, 46 mm in height. 

B. Paratype specimen cut longitudinally to reveal internal structure; height of 

specimen 52 mm. C. Four sclerites from the surface of the stalk; scale bar = 0,1 mm. 

Abbreviations: gc — gastric cavity, s — sclerites. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



273 



■Jm 


,: -# * f [ *- " -«'"\ .'V-- 1 

© 




© © 




' v^\^. 




<#*** 

& 


' "">!«■ *-^S 








1 i?"*' k" 

■Jl ' - 

- ft 

■ 


ml 
1 


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Fig. 10. Scanning electron micrographs of Alcyonium distinction Williams, 1988. Sclerites from 

the surface of the stalk. A. 0,13 mm. B. 0,13 mm. C. 0,10 mm. D. 0,10 mm, 0.14 mm and 

0,11 mm. E. 0,09 mm. F. 0,14 mm. 



274 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Remarks 

This species is distinguished from other southern African Alcyonium species 
by the possession of lobate growth form and the restriction of sclerites to the 
surface region of the stalk. 

Alcyonium elegans (Kukenthal, 1902) comb. nov. 

Figs 11-12 

Anthomastus elegans Kukenthal, 1902: 301; 1906: 64, pi. 2 (figs 6-7), pi. 11 (figs 63-66); 
1910: 8. Thomson, 1921: 169; 1923: 48, 70. Jungersen, 1927: 13. 

Material 

SAM-H3802, Shixini Point, Transkei (32°31,2'S 28°52,2'E), 300 m, 

11 July 1984, several colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring 
Naude). SAM-H3803, Mendu Point, Transkei (32°21,8'S 29°00,0'E), 300 m, 

12 July 1984, 3 colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 
SAM-H3804, Stony Point, Transkei (32°38,9'S 28°45,0'E), 360 m, 12 July 
1984, several colonies, dredge coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 
SAM-H3805, Qolora River, Transkei (32°47,2'S 28°36,2'E), 290-300 m, 
14 July 1984, several colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring 
Naude). 

Description 

Colonies examined range in length from 4 mm to 18 mm. Colonies are 
attached to pieces of coral rubble, small stones, or shell fragments by flattened 
lobate extensions of the proximal region of the stalk, forming an often elaborate 
holdfast. Stalk broad and often compressed, giving rise to the distal polyparium. 
Polyps restricted to distal terminus of colony. Polyps large, conspicuous, up 
to 6 mm in length and usually numbering <12 per colony. Calyces absent. 
Polyps capable of total retraction into polyparium. Polyps heavily impregnated 
with finely tuberculated sclerites. Anthocodiae with crown and points of 
slender spindles or needles <0,30 mm long. Shorter rod-like sclerites are also 
present. These are often curved with ends drawn out to needle-like points. 
Sclerites of polyparium and stalk are capstans and some double stars, usually 
<0,11 mm long. Gastric cavity walls impregnated with stout capstan-like 
spindles and also slender spindles approximately 0,10 mm in length. Stalk white 
or rose, polyps rose to deep red; colour due to permanent pigmentation of 
sclerites. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to southern Africa — Agulhas Bank, Transkei and 
southern Natal, depth 126-360 m (Williams in press a). Type locality is the 
region of the Agulhas Bank, south-east of Cape Agulhas. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



275 




Fig. 11. Alcyonium elegans (Kiikenthal, 1902). A. Colony growing on a stone; total 
height of figure 15,5 mm. B. Polyp-bearing distal region of a colony cut 
longitudinally to reveal internal structure; total height of figure = 6,2 mm. 
C. Sclerites from crown and points of anthocodia. D. Stalk sclerites. C-D. Scale 
bar = 0,1 mm. Abbreviations: a — anthocodia, c — crown, g — gonad, gc — gastric 
cavity, ic — interior coenenchyme, mf — mesenterial filament, p — points, ra — 
retracted anthocodia, sc — surface coenenchyme. 



276 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 277 

Remarks 

Kiikenthal (1902) originally described this species in the genus Anthomastus 
in spite of the fact that he did not detect the presence of siphonozooids, 
believing his material to be young colonies. Anthomastus is characterized by 
having dimorphic polyps and capitate colony shape with capitulum sharply 
delimited from stalk. The present species is neither markedly capitate nor 
dimorphic. Jungersen (1927: 13) first pointed out that this* species was wrongly 
placed in the genus Anthomastus since siphonozooids are absent and because the 
body shape differed significantly from other members of the genus. He also 
pointed out that in very young colonies of Anthomastus grandiflorus, distinct 
siphonozooids are evident. Jungersen therefore suggested that Kukenthal's 
species be excluded from Anthomastus but did not propose an alternative. I 
have examined several whole specimens and sectioned colonies and have found 
no indication of siphonozooids either externally or internally. I therefore believe 
them to be monomorphic. At least two members of the genus Alcyonium 
possess polyps restricted to the distal terminal regions of unilobate, unbranched 
colonies: A. complanatum Verseveldt, 1977, and A. planiceps Williams, 1986a. 
The nature of the sclerites (capstans in the coenenchyme and needles in the 
polyps) are similar in shape and distribution to those of other Alcyonium species 
such as A. variabile (Thomson, 1921). I therefore believe that the present 
species can be accommodated in the morphologically diverse genus Alcyonium. 

Superficially A. elegans most closely resembles A. clavatum Studer, 1901, 
which was originally described from 318 m depth off the Azores. However, the 
latter apparently lacks sclerites of eight-radiates (capstans) in the stalk, which 
are common in A. elegans. 

Alcyonium elegans differs from other southern African Alcyonium species 
by the restriction of polyps to the distal terminus of the colony, anthocodial 
sclerites that are mostly spindles, and stalk sclerites that are mostly capstans. 

Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910 sensu lato 

Figs IB, I, 13-15 

non Alcyonium purpureum Lamarck, 1836: 608. 

Alcyonium purpureum {non Lamarck, 1836: 608) Hickson, 1904: 215, pi. 7 (fig. 1), pi. 9 

(fig. 18). Thomson, 1921: 156; 1923: 47, 68. Day etal, 1970: 15. 
Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910: 568, pi. 1 (fig. 5), pi. 3 (figs 16, 24, 25), pi. 4 (fig. 44); 

1923: 47, 68. Liittschwager, 1922: 535. Broch, 1939: 8. 
Alcyonium fallax Liittschwager, 1922: 534 (nom. nov). 
Parerythropodium purpureum: Day, 1974: 34, fig. p. 34. Branch & Branch, 1981: 152, 

pis 34, 37. 
Parerythropodium wilsoni {non Thomson, 1921: 160): Day, 1974: 34. 
Parerythropodium wilsoni {non Thomson, 1921: 160): Branch & Branch, 1981: 152. 



Fig. 12. (see opposite.) Scanning electron micrographs of Alcyonium elegans (Kiikenthal. 

1902). A-F. Anthocodial sclerites. A. 0,14 mm. B. 0,215 mm' C. 0,27 mm. D. 0,09 mm. 

E. 0,135 mm. F. 0,31 mm. G-J. Sclerites from the surface of the stalk. G. 0.06 mm. 

H. 0,065 mm. I. 0,09 mm. J. 0,05 mm. 



278 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 13. Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910. A. Two membranous colonies growing on 
axes of dead gorgonians; longest linear dimensions of figures 48 mm (left) and 75 mm 
(right). B. Digitate colony, 52 mm in height. C. Lobate colony, 33 mm in height. 
D. Two capitate colonies, 12 mm in height (left) and 4 mm in height (right). 
E. Globular colony, 11 mm in height. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



279 





Fig. 14. Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910. A-C. Variation in sclerite content of 

anthocodiae from three different colonies; all anthocodiae 2 mm in length. 

A. Sclerites dense. B. Sclerites sparse. C. Sclerites absent. D. Coenenchymal 

sclerites; scale bar = 0,3 mm. 



280 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Material 

SAM-H3712, Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth (33°50'S 25°41'E), 15-16 m, 

16 August 1980, large colony encrusting dead gorgonian axis, trawl, coll. W. R. 
Liltved (R.V. T.B. Davie). SAM-H3328, Algoa Bay (33°0'S 25°40'E), 11 m, 
20 May 1984, 3 colony fragments encrusting hard objects, SCUBA, coll. G. C. 
Williams. SAM-H3330, Algoa Bay (33°50'S 25°40'E), 11 m, 15 May 1984, 
several fragments, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. SAM-H3168, Hottentots 
Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 18°21'E), 13-16 m, 18 August 1983, one large 
colony, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. SAM-H3772, Malgas Island (33°03'S 
17°56'E), intertidal rock pools, 26-29 September 1983, one small colony, coll. 
S. L. Burke. SAM-H3773, Buffels Bay, False Bay (34°19'S 18°28'E), 6-10 m, 
17-18 March 1984, several colonies on dead gorgonian axis, SCUBA, coll. 
G. C. Williams. SAM-H3774, Sunny Cove, False Bay (34°09'S 18°27'E), 7 m, 

17 February 1985, 2 colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. 

Description 

Growth form highly variable; colonies may be membranous, globular to 
capitate, or lobate; often asymmetrical. Entire colony often covered with 
polyps. Sometimes there is a clear demarcation between base and polyparium, 
distinct stalk rarely well defined. Polyps generally <8 mm in length, completely 
retractile into coenenchyme. Sclerites numerous and dense in surface coenen- 
chyme, sparse to dense in between gastric cavities of the interior. Sclerite distri- 
bution in polyps highly variable. In some colonies polyp sclerites are very scarce 
or totally absent. Other colonies have polyps with dense sclerites in the proximal 
region forming eight contiguous longitudinal bands resembling a calyx. Amount 
of sclerites in the anthocodiae also varies greatly: some may be devoid of 
sclerites, whereas others may contain numerous sclerites of the neck zone and 
bases of tentacles, forming eight points. Sclerites are tuberculated to thorny 
spindles and capstans with varying numbers of globular or ovoid spheroids and 
radiates. Some spindles may be distinctly clubbed. Most sclerites do not exceed 
0,25 mm in length. Colony colour extremely variable; often vivid purple, but 
can be pink, white, golden yellow, orange, or dark smoke-grey to dark brown. 
Sclerites are white or somewhat translucent. Some colonies may be mottled with 
two colours such as purple and white. The purple pigment is alcohol-soluble and 
varies from magenta or red-purple to blue-purple. 

Distribution 

Endemic to southern Africa; known from Saldanha Bay on the west coast, to 
Richard's Bay in Natal; littoral to 90 m in depth (Williams in press a). This is one 
of the most common and conspicuous octocorals of the rocky intertidal and shallow 
sublittoral of southern Africa. Type locality Cape St Blaize near Mossel Bay. 

Remarks 

Hickson (1904) erroneously determined Alcyonium purpureum from Mossel 
Bay, South Africa. Thomson (1910) described A. fauri from Cape St Blaize, 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



281 




Fig. 15. Scanning electron micrographs of Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910; coenenchymal 
sclerites. A. 0,17 mm. B. 0.18 mm. C. 0,28 mm. D. 0.175 mm. E. 0.21 mm. F. 0.24 mm. 
G. Detail of surface tuberculation from a single sclerite: total length of micro- 
graph = 0,052 mm. H. Detail of surface tuberculation from sclerite shown in F: total length of 

micrograph = 0,054 mm. 



282 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

South Africa. However, Liittschwager (1922), not recognizing that Thomson's 
and Hickson's material were conspecific, applied the new name, A. fallax, since 
A. purpureum was found to be used previously by Lamarck (1836) for a species 
from Australia. Broch (1939: 8) observed many intergrading features and 
considered A. purpureum of Hickson and A. fauri to be conspecific, thus 
eliminating the need for the name A. fallax. I agree with Broch and consider 
A. purpureum of Hickson and A. fallax as synonyms of A. fauri. The genus 
Parerythropodium was described by Kiikenthal (1916) for membranous or 
encrusting forms. Day (1974) and Branch & Branch (1981) used the name 
P. purpureum for the South African species. Groot & Weinberg (1982) showed 
the type species of the genus Parerythropodium to be inseparable from 
Alcyonium, therefore the former must be considered congeneric with the latter. 
Alcyonium fauri is perhaps the most highly variable soft coral species in 
southern Africa. Groot & Weinberg (1982) described the extreme degree of 
variability found in Alcyonium coralloides from Europe. Like A. coralloides, 
A. fauri is highly variable not only in regard to colour but also in colonial 
growth form, size, and sclerite distribution. Alcyonium foliatum Thomson, 1921, 
and A. wilsoni Thomson, 1921, are superficially similar species (see remarks for 
A. wilsoni). 

Membranous colonies may grow on a variety of hard or soft substrata — the 
axes of dead gorgonians, rocks, coral rubble, worm tubes, sponges, or algal 
stipes and holdfasts are common. Lobate colonies may be erect and upright or 
with lobes lying prostrate adjacent to substratum. Globular or capitate colonies 
may be attached to the surfaces of a variety of hard or firm objects. In February 
1984, off Cape Agulhas at 26-36 m depth, SCUBA divers observed the purple 
membranous form of Alcyonium fauri growing upon the bared axis of living 
gorgoniids, Eunicella tricoronata Velimirov, 1971. Hughes (1983: 46), in 
referring to corals of tropical reef regions, stated that colony death can result if 
naked areas of coral axis are colonized by fouling organisms. In this case, 
A. fauri appears to act as a fouling organism. Some living colonies of E. tri- 
coronata were observed to be almost entirely covered by purple, encrusting to 
lobate growths of A. fauri (W. R. Liltved and A. Penny pers. comm.). 

Alcyonium fauri is distinguished from other southern African Alcyonium 
species by the possession of robust, ovoid to subspheroid spindles with coarse 
tuberculation. Some of the spindles may be slightly clubbed. 



Alcyonium foliatum Thomson, 1921 

Figs 16, 17A-E 
Alcyonium (Erythropodium) foliatum Thomson, 1921: 158, fig. 2; 1923: 47, 50, 69. 

Material 

SAM-H561 (holotype), off Cape Morgan, border of Cape Province and 
Transkei (32°45'S 28°20'E), 82 m, 13 August 1901, 1 colony on sponge, dredge, 






SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



283 



coll. S.S. Pieter Fame survey, PF 13364. SAM-H3690, off Gonubie, eastern 
Cape Province (33°04,7'S 28°07,2'E), 90 m, 17 July 1984, 3 colonies on separate 
sponges, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). SAM-H840, off 
Umtwalumi River mouth, Natal (30°30'S 30°40'E), 91 m, 11 March 1901, 
12 colonies on sponges, dredge, coll. S.S. Pieter Fame survey, PF 12282. 

Description 

Colonies membranous on external surface of an unidentified species 
of clavate sponge. Base of colony often thin (<0,3 mm), and sheet-like. 




Fig. 16. Alcyonium foliatwn Thomson, 1921. A. Colonies growing on two clavate 

sponges; length of figures = 75 mm (left) and 67 mm (right). B. Coenenchymal 

sclerites; scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



284 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Aggregations of polyps form globular or somewhat digitate polyparies up to 
5 mm in height and diameter. Some individual polyps arise directly from the 
membranous base. Retracted polyps <1,0 mm in diameter. Membranous base 
may form stolon-like bands joining polyparies, or base may form a continuous 
sheet with swollen aggregations of polyps forming polyparies. Coenenchyme 
sclerites of the membranous bases and polyparies are predominantly leaf clubs 
and double heads, 0,07-0,12 mm long. Anthocodiae with crown and points of 
slender tuberculated spindles, 0,06-0,12 mm in length. Colour of colonies in 
life: polyparies vivid pinkish-magenta, with membranous bases white to pinkish. 
Colour fades to cream or brownish-white when preserved. Pigments are alcohol 
soluble. 

Distribution 

Known only from the above material — the border region between Cape 
Province and Transkei to the Natal south coast; 82-91 m in depth. Apparently 
endemic to southern Africa. Type locality is Cape Morgan, border of Cape 
Province and Transkei. 

Remarks 

The host sponges are clavate, upright, unbranched, 45-100 mm in length, 
with a smooth external surface, and yellowish-grey to tan in colour. Spicules are 
styles and isochelas. 

Alcyonium foliatum differs from other southern African members of the 
genus by the possession of many sclerites that are leaf clubs and double heads. 

Alcyonium moriferum (Tixier-Durivault, 1954) comb. nov. 

Figs 17F-H, 18 

Nidalia morifera Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 128, figs 3, 4. 

Eleutherobia rotifer a (non Thomson, 1910): Verse veldt & Bayer, 1988: 36 (part.). 

Material 

SAM-H1271, Umhloti River mouth, Natal (29°50'S 31°15'E), 73 m, 
18 December 1900, large dredge, S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 10863. 
SAM-H1581, east of Durban (29°50'S 31°15'E), March 1963, dredge, coll. not 
known. SAM-H3826, Park Rynie, Natal (30°20'S 30°51'E), 96 m, 10 July 1984, 
dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). SAM-H3827, Umlaas 
River, Natal (30°01'S 31°03'E), 100 m, 10 July 1985, dredge, coll. G. C. 
Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 

Description 

Colonies are digitiform, 3-22 mm in length. Stalk and polypary clearly 
differentiated, each of approximately equal length. Polyps relatively few and 
large: <25 per colony and calyces 1,5-2,0 mm in diameter. Polyps uniformly 
covering surface of polypary, completely retractile. During polyp retraction, 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



285 




% 


t% 


« 


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iv 


PIP* 


jfcj &* 


1 rc 


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*\ 


Sm 


I 




it^sjp^z^v 


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: ^:^ r 


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Fig. 17. Scanning electron micrographs. A-E. Alcyonium foliatum Thomson, 1921; coenen- 
chymal sclerites. A. 0,1 mm. B-D. 0,75 mm. E. 0,12 mm. F-H. Alcyonium moriferum 
(Tixier-Durivault, 1954); sclerites from the surface of the polyparium. F. 0,09 mm. 

G. 0,07 mm. H. 0,09 mm. 



286 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

calyces may form prominent rounded protuberances on the surface of the 
polypary, but these are also capable of total retraction into the polyparium, 
becoming flush with the external surface. Sclerites are dense and numerous in 
the surface of the polypary, stalk and calyces. Sclerites are present throughout 
the colony, dense on the surface, fewer and sparser in the interior. All sclerites 
are globular, tuberculate spheroids resembling the shape of fruits of the 
mulberry tree (genus Moms, family Moraceae), hence the specific epithet, 
A. moriferum; they are 0,04-0,09 mm in diameter. Colony colour is yellow or 
orange with yellow, orange, or red calyces. 

Distribution 

Known only from Durban to Cape St Lucia along the Natal north coast, 
27-100 m in depth (Tixier-Durivault 1954: 128; Williams in press a); commonly 
encountered in the Durban region; apparently endemic to the southern African 
east coast. The collected colonies are attached to pelecypod shells, dead coral 
fragments, and small stones. Type locality is off St Lucia, northern Natal. 

Remarks 

Because the entire polyp including the calyx is capable of complete 
retraction into the polyparium, this species must be allocated to the genus 
Alcyonium, as Nidalia possesses firm, projecting calyces. It differs from other 
southern African Alcyonium species by digitiform growth habit, prominent 
stalk, and sclerites of tuberculate spheroids. 

Verseveldt & Bayer (1988: 36) maintained that Nidalia morifera is 
synonymous with Eleutherobia rotifera (Thomson, 1910). However, the two 
species can be differentiated as follows. In the former, the colonies are 
digitiform, the polyps are capable of complete retraction into the polyparium 
without retaining permanent calyces, and the sclerites are predominantly 
tuberculate spheroids without medial waists. In the latter species, the colonies 
are digitate, the polyps retract into permanent calyces, and sclerites are mostly 
compact radiates with medial waists. 

Alcyonium mutabiliforme Williams, 1988 

Figs 19, 20A-D 

?Metalcyonium molle {non Burchardt, 1903: 31) Thomson, 1921: 162. 
Alcyonium mutabiliforme Williams, 1988: 14—19, figs 11-14. 

Material 

SAM-H3716, Hottentots Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 18°21'E), 
15-18 m, 11 November 1984, 4 whole colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. 

Description 

Colonies upright, unbranched, up to 40 mm in length; digitiform when 
expanded, capitate when contracted. Polyp-bearing distal portion arising from 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



287 



prominent stalk. Stalk approximately one-half length of expanded colony. 
Polyparium and stalk distinctly delimited. Stalk covered with a thin cuticle. 
Polyps monomorphic, capable of retraction into polyparium. Calyces absent. 
Sclerites few; thin, flattened rods with little surface ornamentation; 0,06- 
0,26 mm long; restricted to neck region of polyps and portion of polyparium 




Fig. 18. Alcyoniwn moriferum (Tixier-Durivault, 1954). A. Entire colony with 

anthocodiae retracted into basal portions of polyps; total colony length 15 mm. 

B. Entire colony with polyps completely retracted into polyparium; total length of 

colony 20 mm. C. Coenenchymal sclerites; scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



288 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



~cC<\\ 












i;-:-:;V-v^V::v.'.;.;.A^ 




Fig. 19. Alcyonium mutabiliforme Williams, 1988. A. Entire colony, contracted, 

preserved, 12 mm in height. B. Single polyp showing placement of sclerites, length 

of polyp 1,5 mm. C. Entire colony, expanded in life, 25 mm in height. D. Polyp 

sclerites; scale bar = 0,2 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 289 

surrounding polyps; usually sparsely scattered. Colour of colonies rust-orange in 
life, reddish-brown in alcohol. 

Distribution 

Presently known only from the Atlantic coast of the Cape of Good Hope 
Peninsula, 15-21 m depth (Williams 1988, in press a). 

Remarks 

See Williams (1988) for a discussion of material identified by Thomson 
(1921) as Metalcyonium molle Burchardt, 1903. 

Alcyonium mutabiliforme differs from other southern African species in the 
genus by having only a few thin rod-like sclerites restricted to the regions of the 
anthocodiae. 

Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a 

Figs IF, 20E-J, 21 

Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a: 53-63, figs 1-7. 

Material 

SAM-H3280, off Llandudno, Atlantic side of Cape Peninsula (34°01'S 
18°20'E), 21 m, 24 January 1984, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. 
SAM-H3713, off East London, eastern Cape Province (33°06,8'S 28°04,9'E), 
90 m, 17 July 1984, 2 colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring 
Naude). 

Description 

Colonies examined range in length from 12 to 30 mm. Colonies clavate to 
subcapitate, upright and unbranched. Stalk prominent, expanding distally and 
giving rise to a more-or-less flattened, disc-like polyparium. Polyps completely 
retractile, and restricted to this terminal disc; <10 mm in length preserved, <20 
in number. Calyces absent. Sclerites dense and usually confined to outer 
coenenchyme of stalk and sides of capitulum; a few may be scattered in surface 
of polyparium and in the interior coenenchyme at base of stalk. Sclerites are 
large robust spindles (1,0-2,5 mm in length), finely to coarsely tuberculated. 
Sclerites evident through transparent cuticular epidermis of stalk. Stalk covered 
with a rough cuticular envelope upon which epizoic organisms and foreign 
particles may be attached. Colour in life: polyparium and bases of some polyps 
rose-purple, magenta, or vivid red-purple; polyps white to cream with bright 
golden-yellow tentacles; stalk brownish. Pigments are alcohol soluble; preserved 
colonies fade to greenish-grey or yellowish-brown. 

Distribution 

Presumably endemic to southern Africa; known only from the type locality 
on the Atlantic coast of the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula, off Cape St Francis, 



290 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 20. Scanning electron micrographs. A-D. Alcyonium mutabiliforme Williams, 1988; polyp 
sclerites. A. 0,16 mm. B. 0,18 mm. C. 0,17 mm. D. Detail of surface from a polyp sclerite; 
total length of micrograph = 0,022 mm. E-J. Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a; sclerites 
from surface of stalk. E. 1,1 mm. F. 1,0 mm. G. Detail from surface of a sclerite with thorny 
tubercles; total length of portion of sclerite shown = 0,185 mm. H. 1,3 mm. I. 1,7 mm. 
J. Detail from surface of a sclerite with simple tubercles; total length of portion of sclerite 

shown = 0,25 mm. 






SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



291 



and off East London, in the eastern Cape Province; depth range 21-90 m 
(Williams in press a). 

Remarks 

Alcyonium planiceps differs from other southern African members of the 
genus by the restriction of polyps to the flattened distal terminus of the colony 
and sclerites that are large robust spindles with varying tuberculations; 
anthocodial sclerites are absent. 




Fig. 21. Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a. A. Entire colony, 30 mm length. 
B. Sclerites from surface of stalk; scale bar = 1,0 mm. 



292 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Alcyonium valdiviae Kiikenthal, 1906 

Figs IE, 22-23 

Alcyonium valdiviae Kiikenthal, 1906: 42, pi. 3 (fig. 11), pi. 8 (figs 39-41). Verseveldt & 

Williams, 1988: 316, figs 1, 2A, C-D, 3. 
Alcyonium pachyclados (non Klunzinger, 1877) Hickson, 1900: 72. Thomson, 1910: 570, pi. 2 

(fig. 14), pi. 4 (figs 33, 34); 1921: 155-156, pi. 5 (figs 6-8); 1923: 48. 
Lobularia rutila Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 261, figs 1-3. 

Material 

SAM-H3249 (holotype of Lobularia rutila), off Cape St Lucia, Natal 
(28°28 , S 32°26'E), 27 m, 15 May 1948, 1 colony, dredge, coll. University of 
Cape Town Ecological Survey. SAM-H3732, Hottentots Huisie, Cape Penin- 
sula (33°59'S 18°21'E), 14 m, 22 March 1984, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. 
G. C. Williams. SAM-H3822, Hottentots Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 
18°21'E), 23 m, 15 June 1983, 5 colonies, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved. 
SAM-H3832, off Cape Agulhas (34°55'S 20°20'E), 54 m, 23 February 1985, 
4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved (Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Line 
Fish Survey). SAM-H3349, off Port Elizabeth, Algoa Bay (33°50'S 25°40'E), 
15 m, 14 May 1984, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. SAM-H4201, off 
Port Durnford (28°58,7'S 32°08,0'E), 52 m, 13 June 1988, 3 colonies, dredge, 
coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). SAM-H4202, off Jesser Point 
(Zululand, northern Natal) (27°35,0-'S 32°41,8'E), 70 m, 9 June 1987, 1 colony, 
dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 

Description 

Colonies examined are 12-100 mm in diameter and 15-110 mm in height. 
Stalk conspicuous, relatively thick, variable in length. Tightly contracted col- 
onies with terminal lobes globular or conical, 4-5 mm in length. Expanded 
colonies with terminal lobes finger-like, 2-4 mm in diameter and up to 15 mm in 
length. Terminal lobes numerous, arising from several branches that diverge 
from distal region of stalk. Polyps numerous and crowded; retracted polyps 
often form small rounded protuberances on the surface of the polyparium, 
expanded polyps mostly 0,5 mm in length and diameter preserved. Polyps 
without conspicuous or permanent calyces but may form hemispherical pro- 
trusions on the surface of the polyparium when retracted. These protuberances 
are capable of retraction into the polyparium. Sclerites from surface of lobes are 
predominantly compact eight-radiates (capstans), 0,040-0,065 mm in length, 
with angular or thorny tubercles. A few sclerites are triradiates or modified 
capstans, approximately 0,035-0,040 mm long. Sclerites of the stalk are also 
primarily capstans, 0,03-0,05 mm in length, with tubercles markedly angular to 
deltoid. 

Colony colour highly variable: white, yellow, pink, orange, orange-red, 
reddish-brown, deep cherry red or brick red. Some colonies may be bicoloured. 
Polyps white. Colour is permanent due to sclerite pigmentation, restricted to 
surface of colony, interior white. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



293 




Fig. 22. Alcyonium valdiviae Kukenthal, 1906. A-C. Lateral views of three entire colonies. 

A. 38 mm in height. B. 37 mm in height. C. 55 mm in height. D. Coenenchymal sclerites 

from the polyparium. E. Stalk sclerites. Scale bars = 0,1 mm. 



294 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 









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xrv'-v, « 


1 ' ^ ibpVv \-\ 


<|te 




i 


x "a. ii^>\ 


< 






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Hfe% ¥ * JE2II 

IB -»P dH HPv 


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E 4- 


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Fig. 23. Scanning electron micrographs of Alcyonium valdiviae Kukenthal, 1906; polyparium 
sclerites. A. 0,046 mm. B. 0,042 mm. C. 0,04 mm. D. 0,057 mm. E. 0,05 mm. F. 0,045 mm. 

' G. 0,059 mm. 



Distribution 

Apparently a southern African endemic; known from the west coast of the 
Cape Peninsula to Boteler Point (northern Natal); 10-100 m in depth 
(Verse veldt & Williams, 1988; Williams in press a). Type locality is the Agulhas 
Bank, south-east of Cape Agulhas. 

Remarks 

This is a highly variable species with regard to coloration. Colonies from the 
west coast of the Cape Peninsula are commonly bright orange, less frequently 
yellow, and some colonies exhibit both yellow and orange colour. They form a 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 295 

common constituent of subtidal rock walls and reefs at 14-18 m depth. Colonies 
from the Cape Agulhas region are white, pink, or yellow. Colonies from Algoa 
Bay are vivid orange-red, common at 10 m depth. Colonies from the eastern 
Cape Province near East London are mostly white or yellow, sometimes 
reddish-brown with yellow-tipped lobes, frequently encountered at 30-40 m. 
Colonies from northern Natal are commonly bicoloured with stalks brick red 
and polyparia golden yellow. Some are red with only the terminal tips of the 
lobes yellow. Some colonies from the western Cape Province are orange with 
yellow-tipped lobes. 

Alcyonium valdiviae differs from other southern African Alcyonium species 
by having lobate growth form and sclerites of capstans approximately 0,05 mm 
in length. Common at depths of 30-78 m. 

Hickson (1900) and Thomson (1910) misidentified material from the Cape 
Province as Alcyonium p achy dados. According to Tixier-Durivault (1966: 52) 
and Verseveldt (1971: 10), sclerites of this species have rounded to slightly 
angular, tubercles and are large dumb-bells (double stars) up to 0,12 mm in 
length. The species was considered by them to belong to the genus Cladiella, 
and has a widespread Indo-Pacific distribution, from the Red Sea and 
Madagascar to the south-western Pacific. I believe that Hickson's and 
Thomson's material can be considered conspecific with Alcyonium valdiviae, 
as their descriptions agree well with characteristics of this species. At present, 
I do not consider Cladiella pachyclados as a constituent of the South African 
fauna. 

Lobularia rutila was described by Tixier-Durivault for a specimen from off 
St Lucia (27 m in depth). The specimen can easily be included within the wide 
range of colour variants in Alcyonium valdiviae. The genus Cladiella {Lobularia, 
Microspicularia, and Sphaerella are synonyms) possesses sclerites of double 
heads or double stars, not capstans (eight-radiates). Since Tixier-Durivault's 
specimens contain capstans rather than double heads, the correct generic name 
is Alcyonium. 



Alcyonium variabile (Thomson, 1921) 

Figs 1A, 24, 25A-E 

Alcyonium antarcticum (non Wright & Studer, 1889) Hickson, 1900: 73, pi. 4 (fig. A, A'). 
Alcyonium (Metalcyonium) patagonicum {non May, 1899) Kiikenthal, 1906: 47 (part.). 
Metalcyonium patagonicum (non May, 1899) Thomson, 1910: 562, pi. 1 (fig. 8), pi. 2 (fig. 12), 

pi. 3 (figs 22, 26-29), pi. 4 (figs 30-32). 
Metalcyonium variabile Thomson, 1921: 152; 1923: 47, 69. 
Metalcyonium variabile var. molle Thomson, 1921: 162, pi. 5 (fig. 2), pi. 6 (figs 1-3); 1929: 

47-69. 
Metalcyonium variabile var. durum Thomson, 1921: 165, pi. 5 (figs 3, 4); 1923: 47, 69. 
Alcyonium paessleri (non May, 1899) Molander, 19296: 4. 
Alcyonium fungif or me Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 385, figs 1-3. 
Alcyonium luteum Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 388, fig. 4. 
Alcyonium variabile Williams, 19866: 241-270, figs 1-15. 



296 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



Material 

SAM-H3166, Hottentots Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 18°21'E), 23 m, 
15 June 1983, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved. SAM-H3167, Hotten- 
tots Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 18°21'E), 13-16 m, 18 August 1983, 
10 colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. SAM-H3770, off Hout Bay, Cape 
Peninsula (34°05'S 18°20'E), 39 m, 27 April 1985, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. 
G. C. Williams. 




Fig. 24. Alcyonium variabile (Thomson, 1921). A. Entire colony, 40 mm length. 

B. Single polyp, 12 mm length. C. Sclerites from the capitulum. D. Sclerites from 

the stalk. E. Sclerites from the anthocodia. C-E. Scale bar = 0,2 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



297 




Fig. 25. Scanning electron micrographs. A-E. Alcyonium variabile (Thomson, 1921); sclerites 
from surface of capitulum. A. 0,066 mm. B. 0,055 mm. C 0,072 mm. D. 0,096 mm. 
E. 0,115 mm. F-I. Alcyonium wilsoni, coenenchymal sclerites. F. 0,21 mm. G. 0.24 mm. 

H. 0,15 mm. I. 0,23 mm. 



298 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Description 

Colonies examined are 20-50 mm in length. Colony mushroom-shaped, 
unbranched, capitate; a spherical capitulum arises from a conspicuous stalk. 
Polyps covering entire surface of capitulum. Stalk and capitulum strongly 
delineated. Polyps completely retractile into capitulum. Polyps with proximal 
region strongly impregnated with sclerites forming a calyx-like base. Sclerites 
dense and varied. Polyps with crown and points in neck region, slender spindles 
and rods in tentacles, capstans in calyx, tuberculate spindles, clubs, and capstans 
in coenenchyme of capitulum and stalk. Colour highly variable: red, red-purple, 
orange, yellow, pink, white, grey or various combinations of these. Colour 
permanent, originating within the sclerites. 

Distribution 

Presumably endemic to southern Africa; known from the Atlantic coast of 
the Cape Peninsula to the Tugela River mouth, Natal; depth range 13-468 m 
(Williams in press a). Type locality is off East London, eastern Cape Province. 

Remarks 

This is perhaps the most commonly encountered soft coral of the South 
African continental shelf. The species is commonly observed by SCUBA divers 
in the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas regions, but not in False Bay. It is 
a common benthic species of subtidal horizontal rock reefs and vertical walls. 
Strikingly different colour varieties may be encountered within a few centi- 
metres of each other. Numerous colonies representing several distinct colour 
varieties may be brought up in a single dredge haul. For a detailed account of 
this species, including variability and a historical survey of systematics and 
synonymy, see Williams (1986b). 

Alcyonium variabile differs from other southern African Alcyonium species 
by capitate growth form and sclerites of spindles, needles, rods, clubs, and 
capstans. 

Alcyonium wilsoni Thomson, 1921 

Figs 25F-I, 26 

Alcyonium (Erythropodiwn) wilsoni Thomson, 1921: 160, fig. 3; 1923: 50, 69. 

Material 

SAM-H558 (holotype), off Knysna Heads (34°12'S 23°02'E), 73 m, 
11 October 1900, colony attached to brachiopod shell, large dredge, coll. 
S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 10219. SAM-H3820, off Llandudno, west coast 
Cape Peninsula (34°00'S 18°20'E), 21 m, 24 January 1984, colony attached to 
brachiopod shell, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



299 



Description 

The two colonies examined are attached to the valves of brachiopods, 
probably of the genera Kraussina and Megerlina. Globular polyparies (up to 
5 mm in diameter) arise from thin and membranous, often spreading bases that 
adhere to the brachiopod shells. Retracted polyps are 1,5 mm in diameter. 
Usually 6-20 polyps per polypary. Polyps restricted to polyparies, none arise 
directly from membranous base. Sclerites of the polyparies and coenenchyme of 




Fig. 26. Alcyonium wilsoni Thomson, 1921. A. Entire colony growing on a 
brachiopod {Kraussina sp.) that is attached to a fragment of stylasterine coral; length 
of coral fragment 23 mm. B. Sclerites from polypary and base of colony; scale 

bar = 0,3 mm. 



300 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

the membranous base are predominantly tuberculated spindles and clubs 0,10- 
0,33 mm in length. Globular forms are rare. The autozooids have crown and 
points of mostly slender spindles approximately 0,15 mm long. Tubercles of all 
sclerites are usually dense and coarse, often low, but sometimes thorny. Colour 
of colonies in life not known; cream-white or brownish-white when preserved. 

Distribution 

Known only from the above material — Cape Peninsula to Knysna, 21- 
73 m in depth; apparently endemic to southern Africa. Type locality off Knysna, 
south coast of South Africa. 

Remarks 

Alcyonium wilsoni, A. fauri, and A. foliatum are superficially similar 
species and may be confused; all three may have membranous growth forms 
with polyparies of more-or-less globular aggregations of polyps, and alcohol- 
soluble pigments. Accurate identification can only be made by examination of 
coenenchymal sclerites. The three species possess coarsely tuberculated sclerites 
and can usually be distinguished by sclerite shape only. Alcyonium wilsoni has 
elongated clubs and spindles predominant (Figs 25F-I, 26). Alcyonium fauri has 
spindles and clubbed spindles (see Figs 14, 15) as well as many globular to oval 
spheroids or compact capstans; and A. foliatum is characterized by having 
distinct double heads and leaf clubs predominant (see Figs 16, 17A-E). 

Six membranous colonies in the South African Museum collection are 
problematical: a colony attached to a brachiopod shell, 51 m depth in Sebastian 
Bay (34°29'S 21°00'E) (SAM-H879) ; two colonies from 11 m depth in Algoa 
Bay (33°50'S 25°40'E), which were blue-violet in life (SAM-H3326, H3350); a 
colony from 20 m depth off Onrus River (34°29'S 19°12'E), mottled purple and 
white in life (SAM-H3807); and two colonies from 14-33 m depth off the 
Atlantic side of the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula (34°00'S 18°20'E), salmon 
pinkish-orange in life (SAM-H3806, H3808). These colonies mainly have 
elongate clubs and spindles but, some sclerites are more robust and ovoid to 
spheroid, and may have large thorny tubercles characteristic of Alcyonium fauri. 
It may be that A. wilsoni is in fact yet another variant of the extremely variable 
A. fauri. A detailed comparative examination of a large suite of specimens from 
throughout coastal southern Africa is necessary to determine the true nature of 
these taxa. 

Other species of Alcyonium 

Six additional species of Alcyonium have been described or recorded from 
southern Africa. 

Alcyonium membranaceum was originally described by Kiikenthal (1906: 
53) from St Francis Bay (34°7'S 24°59'E) at 100 m depth. Kiikenthal charac- 
terized the species by its membranous growth form and sclerites of spindles in 
the polyps with capstans and spindles in the coenenchyme. Since Kukenthal's 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 301 

material is not available presently for examination, I cannot determine the status 
of this species. The possibility exists that it represents yet another variant of the 
highly variable A. fauri complex. If this were proved valid, then the name 
would have priority over all other names applied, since it precedes them all with 
the exception of A. purpureum Hickson, 1904, which Luttschwager (1922) 
found to be preoccupied. Thomson (1921: 159) listed A. membranaceum 
without description or figures, from several South African south coast localities: 
Mossel Bay (18-22 m), Cape St Blaize (22 m), and Algoa Bay (46 m). Tixier- 
Durivault (1954: 263) listed the species from Plettenberg Bay, South African 
south coast, without description or figures. 

Thomson (1921: 158) equivocally identified a small and incomplete colony 
from northern Natal (165 m) as Alcyonium reptans Kiikenthal (1906: 53), 
originally described from Bouvet Island (457 m). Tixier-Durivault (1954: 264) 
identified two colonies from 200 km south of Cape Infanta, Cape Province 
(177 m) as Parerythr op odium reptans. Neither author gave descriptions or 
figures, but merely listed the species. This material is not presently available for 
examination. It is therefore not possible to determine the validity of Thomson's 
or Tixier-Durivault's identification, and I consider these to be dubious records. 

Thomson (1921: 157) identified a specimen (SAM-H560) from the Cape 
Town region (40 m depth) as Alcyonium sollasi Wright & Studer (1889: 240), 
originally described from the Straits of Magellan (100 m depth). The material is 
fragmentary and badly damaged through desiccation. An examination of scler- 
ites reveals that they are superficially similar to those of A. wilsoni. However, 
considering the unsatisfactory condition of Thomson's material, I must consider 
it unidentifiable and his identification of it as A. sollasi to be dubious. Thomson 
did not give a description or figures for the material. 

A single colony in the SAM collection (H562) was described and identified 
by Thomson (1921: 157) as Alcyonium sarcophytoides Burchardt (1903: 671), 
originally described from the eastern Malay Archipelago. The golden-yellow 
specimen is about 80 mm in length and digitiform with a well-demarcated stalk 
and an elongate, smooth and unfolded polyparium. Many sclerites from the 
surface coenenchyme of the polyparium are very thin, slender needles up to 
0,35 mm in length. These do not resemble any sclerites described or figured by 
Burchardt. At present, I consider this material to be of an undetermined 
species. 

Tixier-Durivault (1954: 265, figs 4, 5) described Parerythr op odium roseum 
from depth 27-28 m in False Bay (34°07'S 18°31'E). Groot & Weinberg (1982) 
have shown that the genus Parerythr op odium must be considered a synonym 
of Alcyonium. According to Tixier-Durivault, the species is distinguished by 
rose-carmine coloration that is conserved in alcohol, and diverse sclerites that 
are mostly irregularly-shaped radiates and branched forms that are less than 
0,24 mm in length. A specimen in the South African Museum collection 
(SAM-H3811), also from False Bay resembles Alcyonium roseum but possesses 
a markedly different growth form with small polyparies of one to four polyps 



302 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

arising from a stolon-like base. Tixier-Durivault did not designate a holotype 
for A. roseum. A comparison of type material of A. roseum with SAM-H3811 
is necessary since Tixier-Durivault's description lacks sufficient detail for 
comparison. 

Thomson (1921: 155) identified a colony from off Durban (155 m depth) as 
Alcyonium glomeratum Hassall, 1843, a species known from the British Isles, 
France, and possibly the western Mediterranean (Manuel 1981: 42). Recently 
acquired material from Durban (133-165 m depth) is conspecific with Thom- 
son's specimen. This species cannot be considered a member of the genus 
Alcyonium because of the possession of permanent calyces into which the polyps 
retract. A comparison of the Durban material with type specimens of the 
European A. glomeratum is necessary to ascertain valid taxonomic status but the 
latter material is not presently available for comparison. 



Genus Anthomastus Verrill, 1878 
Anthomastus Verrill, 1878: 376. Kukenthal, 1910: 3. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies fungiform; a broad capitulum usually arising from a narrower 
stalk. Holdfast often with long projections. Capitulum smooth, rounded 
spherical, or somewhat flattened. Polyps dimorphic restricted to distal capitu- 
lum. Stalk and polyparium distinctly delimited. Autozooids relatively large 
and few in number. Siphonozooids numerous between autozooids, usually 
conspicuous. Sclerites are mainly double stars, double heads, and capstans, with 
sparsely spinose rods in the inner stalk and capitulum. Colour often red, rarely 
white. 

A genus of about nine species, north Atlantic to Bovet Island and the Indo- 
Pacific, mainly in deep water, 50-2 800 m; includes some of the deepest known 
of all soft corals. 

Type species. Anthomastus grandiflorus Verrill, 1878, northern Atlantic. 

Anthomastus giganteus Tixier-Durivault, 1954 

Figs 27-28 

Anthomastus giganteus Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 526, figs 1, 2. D'Hondt, 1988: 271, text-fig. 5, 
pi. 1 (figs 9-12). 

Material 

SAM-H3246 (paratype), off Cape Columbine (32°53,3'S 17°30'E), 309 m, 
27 September 1947, 2 colonies, dredge, coll. University of Cape Town Eco- 
logical Survey. SAM-H3666, Sandy Point, Transkei (32°39,2'S 28°45,2'E), 
450 m, 14 July 1984, 1 colony, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring 
Naude). SAM-H3667, Stony Point, Transkei (32°38,9'S 28°45,0'E), 360 m, 
12 July 1984, 3 colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



303 




Fig. 27. Anthomastus giganteus Tixier-Durivault, 1954. A. Two entire colonies, 

40 mm in length (top) and 138 mm in length (bottom). B. Stalk sclerites. 

C. Sclerites from pinnules of tentacles. B-C. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



304 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 28. Scanning electron micrographs of Anthomastus giganteus Tixier-Durivault, 1954; stalk 
sclerites. A-B. 0,11 mm. C. 0,28 mm. D. 0,12 mm. E. 0,08 mm. 



Description 

Colonies examined range in length from 30-110 mm. Each colony is 
unilobate, unbranched, with an upright and well-developed stalk. The capitulum 
arises from the distal end of the stalk and may be rounded or spheroid, or only 
slightly flared from the rest of the stalk. Surface of stalk smooth and uniform. 
Autozooids generally less than 12 per colony; very large, up to 35 mm in length 
and 10 mm in diameter preserved. Calyces absent. Autozooids capable of par- 
tial if not total retraction into capitulum. Siphonozooids numerous on surface of 
capitulum between autozooids, <0,5 mm in diameter. Autozooid tentacles with 
needle-like sclerites <0,2 mm long, particularly numerous in pinnules. Body 
walls of anthocodiae with sclerites filling spaces between siphonozooids; these 
are thorny rods and double stars similar to those of the stalk. Surface of stalk 
and stalk interior with numerous thorny double stars <0,15 mm long and 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 305 

slender elongate needle-like sclerites with simple thorny processes (which may 
be hook-like), up to 0,55 mm long. Colonies cream-white to rose or pale red. 
Autozooids often greyish in alcohol. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to southern Africa, known from the south-west coast 
of South Africa to Transkei. This species is one of the deepest known identified 
soft corals in southern African waters, ranging from 309 m to 450 m depth. 
Alcyonium variabile was recorded by Thomson (1921: 164) at 468 m off Cape 
Recife. The type locality of Anthomastus giganteus is off Cape Columbine, west 
coast of South Africa. 

Remarks 

Anthomastus giganteus is distinguished by its relatively elongate stalk, the 
capitulum that is only slightly wider than the stalk, and by stalk sclerites that are 
needles with hook-like tubercles, together with thorny double stars. 

Remarks on the genus Anthomastus 

Hickson (1904: 217) identified a single specimen from 450 m off Cape 
Recife, near Port Elizabeth as Anthomastus grandiflorus Verrill, 1878. Junger- 
sen (1904: 13) maintained that Hickson's material does not resemble any known 
specimen of A. grandiflorus and therefore does not belong to the species. Bock 
(1938: 44) gave the new name A. hicksoni for this specimen. It is possible that 
A. giganteus is synonymous with A. hicksoni since colony shape of the two 
species is similar, but a comparison of type material is necessary because 
Hickson's description does not include figures of sclerites. D'Hondt (1988: 271) 
discussed the systematics of four species of Anthomastus , including A. giganteus 
and A. hicksoni. 



Genus Cladiella Gray, 1869 

Lobularia {non Lamarck, 1836). Ehrenberg, 1834: 281. Tixier-Durivault, 1943: 437. 
Cladiella Gray, 1869: 125. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 35. 
Sphaerella Gray, 1869: 122. Bayer, 1956: F188. 
Microspicularia Macfadyen, 1936: 28. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies with a distinct basal stalk. Distal polyparium is multi-lobed or 
many branched to form many short, rounded, knob-like lobes during contrac- 
tion; these are often elongate and finger-like with acute tips during expansion. 
Polyps are restricted to this multi-lobed polyparium. Polyps monomorphic. 
Capable of complete retraction into polyparium, without permanent calyces. 
Sclerites are primarily compact double heads or double stars, usually <0,12 mm 
in length. Colour often white or cream in alcohol. 



306 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

A genus of over 40 species, from the tropical Indo-West Pacific, in rela- 
tively shallow water. Cladiella species are common constituents of shallow- 
water coral-reef regions in the Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Alcyonium tuberculosum Quoy & Gairriard, 1833. 

Cladiella madagascarensis (Tixier-Durivault, 1944) 
Remarks 

Tixier-Durivault (1960: 360) listed Cladiella madagascarensis (Tixier- 
Durivault, 1944) from Inhaca Island, southern Mozambique, without description 
or figures. According to Tixier-Durivault (1966: 47), the species is characterized 
by possessing sclerites of double stars (0,07-0,11 mm long); colony colour 
greyish-white; distribution — Comoro Islands, Madagascar, and southern 
Mozambique. 

Pople (1960) recorded the genus Cladiella from intertidal rock pools near 
Durban, Natal, and tentatively identified the species as Sphaerella krempfi 
(Hickson, 1919). No description or figures were given and thus the identity of 
the material must be considered dubious. 

An unidentified species of Cladiella is occasionally encountered on the coral 
reefs at Sodwana Bay, northern Zululand at 13 m in depth (Williams 1989a: 
142; in press b). 

Genus Eleutherobia Putter, 1900 

Eleutherobia Putter, 1900: 449. Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 27. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies unbranched; digitiform, capitate, or digitate. Polyps monomor- 
phic. Retracted polyps form distinct hemispherical, cup-like or dish-like per- 
manent calyces on the capitulum surface. Anthocodia completely retractile into 
calyx, sometimes forming a low rounded eight-rayed protuberance inside the 
calicular cup. Sclerites are primarily eight-radiates and capstans. 

A genus of perhaps 15 species of the Indo-West Pacific; three species in 
southern Africa. 

Type species. Eleutherobia jap onica Putter, 1900, Japan. 

Eleutherobia rotifera (Thomson, 1910) 

Figs 29, 30D-F 

Alcyonium rotiferum Thomson, 1910: 573, pi. 1 (figs 3, 4), pi. 4 (fig. 38); 1923: 47, 50, 68. 
Eleutherobia rotifera (Thomson, 1910) Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 36, figs 18c, 29 {part.). 

Material 

SAM-H566 (type material) Keiskamma Point, eastern Cape Province 
(33°15'S 27°30'E), 60 m, 27 August 1901, 2 colonies, dredge, S.S. Pieter Faure 
survey, PF 13553. SAM-H849 and H850, Great Fish Point, eastern Cape 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



307 




Fig. 29. Eleutherobia rotifera Thomson, 1910. A. Entire colony, 30 mm in length. 

B. Entire colony, 35 mm in length. C. Polyparium sclerites. D. Stalk sclerites. 

C-D. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



308 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Province (33°30'S 27°10'E), 90 m, 4 September 1901, 11 colonies, dredge, 
S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 13727 and PF 13727B. 

Description 

The colonies that were examined range in length from 20 to 35 mm. 
Colonies are upright, digitate; 3-8 finger-like unbranched lobes arise form a 
prominent robust stalk. Lobes are up to 15 mm long and 4 mm wide. Stalk with 
a broad base forming an extended holdfast. Surface of preserved colonies 
markedly wrinkled or pustulate. Polyps restricted to lobes. Anthocodiae com- 
pletely retractile into prominent, rounded calyces up to 1,5 mm in diameter. 
Sclerites numerous in stalk, lobes and calyces; almost exclusively compact 
6-8 radiate capstans, 0,030-0,065 mm in length. Colour golden yellow. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to South Africa, known only from the eastern Cape 
Province south-west of East London, 60-120 m depth (Williams in press a). 
Type locality is Keiskamma Point. 

Remarks 

Eleutherobia rotifera differs from other southern African Eleutherobia 
species by digitate growth form, prominent stalk, and sclerites that are 
tuberculate spheroids and capstans. 

Eleutherobia studeri (Thomson, 1910) 

Figs 30A-C, 31 

Bellonella studeri Thomson, 1910: 550, pi. 1 (fig. 1), pi. 3 (fig. 23), pi. 4 (figs 45a-e); 1921: 

171; 1923: 50, 71, chart 2. 
Eleutherobia studeri Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 41 (figs 33, 36, 37). 

Material 

SAM-H1249 (holotype), St Francis Bay, Cape Province (34°10'S 24°50'E), 
42-64 m, 3 May 1906, 1 colony, large trawl, S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 18831. 
SAM-H909, off Flesh Point, Cape Province (34°18'S 21°55'E), 60 m, 
29 January 1904, 2 colonies attached to a large gastropod shell (Fusinus 
ocelliferus Lamarck, 1816), large trawl, S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 18423. 

Description 

Colonies examined are 40-95 mm in length. Colonies are capitate, the 
polyp-bearing capitulum arises from an upright stalk. Stalk length approximately 
40-50 per cent of total colony length. A distinct demarcation is present between 
the stalk and polyparium. Capitulum usually slightly elongate or conical, rarely 
spheroid. Polyps retractile, crowded, and distributed over entire surface of 
capitulum. Preserved expanded polyps <12 mm in length. Anthocodiae with 
crown and points of needle-like spindles 0,15-0,30 mm long. Wall of pharynx 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



309 



often densely spiculated. Wall of calyx with capstan-like radiates, 0,05-0,08 mm 
long. Surface region of polyparium with mostly spindles and radiates 0,04- 
0,13 mm in length. Surface of stalk with capstan-like radiates 0,04-0,1 mm long. 
Stalk interior with thorny spindles 0,12-0,20 mm long. Preserved colony colour 
yellow or pink. 

Distribution 

Known only from south and east coasts of South Africa, Mossel Bay to 
central Natal, 42-121 m in depth. Thomson (1921: 171; 1923, chart 2) recorded 




Fig. 30. Scanning electron micrographs. A-C. Eleutherobia studeri (Thompson, 1910); sclerites 
from surface of polyparium. A. 0,05 mm. B. 0,065 mm. C. 0,10 mm. D-F. Eleutherobia 
rotifera Thomson, 1910; sclerites from surface of polyparium. D. 0,052 mm. E. 0.054 mm. 

F. 0,047 mm. 



310 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

the species from Umtwalume River mouth (Natal) at 46 m depth and off Great 
Fish Point (eastern Cape Province) at 121 m. Type locality St Francis Bay (south 
coast of Cape Province). 

Remarks 

Eleutherobia studeri is distinguished by the possession of pliable dish-like 
calyces that are formed during the retraction of polyps; the terminal ends of the 
polyps form eight-rayed protuberances inside these calyces; sclerites are radiates 
and spindles; anthocodial sclerites are present. 

Remarks on the genus Eleutherobia 

A third species of Eleutherobia is encountered in southern Africa. Thomson 
(1921: 155) identified a colony from Durban (155 m in depth) as Alcyonium 
glomeratum (Hassall, 1843). Recently collected material from Durban to Cape 
St Lucia, Natal (depth 100-164 m), has been compared with Thomson's 
specimen, with which it appears to be conspecific. However, the colonies possess 
permanent calyces in which the anthocodiae retract, and the coenenchymal 
sclerites are primarily eight-radiates and capstans. Because of these characters, I 
consider the material to represent an undetermined species of the genus 
Eleutherobia, that cannot be attributed to A. glomeratum. 

Genus Lobophytum von Marenzeller, 1886 

Lobophytum von Marenzeller, 1886: 352, 362. Pratt, 1903: 514: Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 55. 
Verseveldt, 1983: 4. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies encrusting, dish-shaped or stalked and upright. Polyp-bearing 
capitulum arises from a basal region or distinct stalk. Capitulum relatively 
smooth or variously lobed, folded, or plicate. These are closed folds which may 
be digitate or plate-like, resembling ridges or crests. Polyps dimorphic. Sclerites 
of capitulum are tuberculated spindles, usually somewhat club-shaped with ill- 
defined heads. Sclerites of stalk are generally capstans <0,3 mm in length. 

About 47 species from the Indo-Pacific, usually in warm shallow water, and 
often associated with coral reefs. See Verseveldt (1983) for a detailed revision of 
the genus, with a key and descriptions for the recognized species. 

Type species. Lobophytum crassum von Marenzeller, 1886; Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

Tixier-Durivault (1960: 360) recorded Lobophytum crebiplicatum von 
Marenzeller, 1886, and L. crassum von Marenzeller, 1886 (as L. crassospicu- 
latum Moser, 1919), without descriptions or figures, from Inhaca Island, 
southern Mozambique. Verseveldt (1983: 32) considered Tixier-Durivault's 
identification of L. crebiplicatum as a misidentification and considered the 
species to be confined to the western Pacific Basin. Several unidentified species 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



311 




Fig. 31. Eleutherobia studeri (Thompson, 1910). A. An entire colony, 55 mm in length. B. An 
entire colony, 90 mm in length. C. A single exsertile polyp, 8 mm long, tentacles contracted. 
D-F. Three cup-like calyces with retracted anthocodiae; 1,0-1,4 mm in diameter. G. Sclerites 
from the crown and points of the anthocodia. H. Calyx sclerites. I. Sclerites from the surface 
region of the polyparium. J. Sclerites from the surface of the stalk. K. Sclerites from the stalk 
interior. G-K. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



312 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

of the genus are found on the coral reefs and coral assemblages at Sodwana Bay 
and Kosi Bay (northern Natal), 12-19 m in depth (Williams 1989a: 142; in press 
b). Material representing these species is in the South African Museum 
collection. The alcyoniids Lobophytum, Sarcophyton and Sinularia are three of 
the most abundant and conspicuous soft coral genera in the warm and shallow 
coral reef regions of the Indo-Pacific. Verseveldt & Benayahu (1983: 3) reported 
that these genera, together with the nephtheid genus Litophyton, often form 
monospecific carpets at depths of 1-6 m in the Red Sea. In the shallow 
sublittoral of northern Natal and southern Mozambique, the most commonly 
encountered soft coral genera are Sinularia, Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, 
Dendronephthya, Cladiella, Xenia, and Anthelia. 



Genus Malacacanthus Thomson, 1910 
Malacacanthus Thomson, 1910: 583. Williams, 19876: 1337. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies capitate, broad capitulum arising from a columnar stalk. Stalk 
enveloped by rough cuticle. Polyps dimorphic, restricted to distal surface of 
capitulum. Capitulum retractile into distal portion of stalk. Autozooids and 
siphonozooids numerous and crowded. Autozooids capable of complete retrac- 
tion into capitulum. Calyces absent. Tentacles with a single row of pinnules per 
side. Sclerites absent from all parts of colony. 

A monotypic genus, endemic to southern Africa. 

Type species. Heteroxenia capensis Hickson, 1900; South Africa. 

Malacacanthus capensis (Hickson, 1900) 

Figs 1C, 32 

Heteroxenia capensis Hickson, 1900: 70, pi. 4 (fig. C); 1931: 172. Thomson, 1923: 47, 66-67. 

Broch, 1939: 4. Day etal, 1970: 16. 
?Xenia uniserta Kiikenthal, 1906: 22, pi. 1 (fig. 5), pi. 6 (figs 25-29). Thomson, 1923: 47, 

66-67. 
Malacacanthus rufus Thomson, 1910: 583, pi. 1 (fig. 6); 1921: 171; 1923: 48, 71. Broch, 1939: 

12, fig. 8. Tixier-Durivault, 1954: 390. Day et al, 1970: 15. 
?Heteroxenia uniserta: Day et al., 1970: 16. 
Malacacanthus: Bayer, 19816: 912. 
Malacacanthus capensis Williams, 1987&: 1338, figs 1-7. 

Material 

SAM-H3192, off Llandudno, west coast Cape Peninsula (34°01'S 18°20'E), 
25-31 m, 24 September 1983, 6 colonies, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved. SAM- 
H3864, off Llandudno (34°01'S 18°20'E), 21 m, 24 January 1984, 2 colonies, 
SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. SAM-H3865, Sunny Cove, False Bay (34°09'S 
18°26'E), 12 m, Dec. 1980, 1 colony, SCUBA, G. M. Branch. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



313 



Description 

Preserved colonies 12-80 mm in height. Colonies fungiform, a broad 
capitulum arising from a prominent cylindrical stalk. A tough horn-like cuticular 
envelope surrounds the stalk and proximal portion of the capitulum. Polyps 
restricted to the distal surface of the capitulum. Polyp-bearing surface of cap- 
itulum is plainly delimited from the stalk and proximal region of the capitulum 
by a distinct boundary, which is formed by the distal termination of the cuticle. 
Polyps dimorphic. Polyp calyces absent. Autozooids often over 100 per colony, 
up to 25 mm in length. Siphonozooids conspicuous in mature colonies, crowded 
between autozooids, approximately 1,0 mm in diameter. Autozooids retractile 
into capitulum. Capitulum capable of almost total retraction into distal region of 
stalk. Colonies in this state assume a cylindrical shape. Tentacles with one row 
of pinnules per side. Sclerites altogether absent. 




Fig. 32. Malacacanthus capensis Hickson, 1900. A. Entire colony with polyps 
expanded, total length 80 mm. B. Entire colony with polyps retracted, 80 mm. 
C. Single autozooid with fourteen siphonozooids at base; length of figure = 22 mm. 



314 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Distribution 

Known from the west coast of the Cape Peninsula to the Gonubie region, 
eastern Cape Province, between 10 and 93 m in depth. Apparently endemic to 
southern Africa. A locally common species on vertical rock walls and reefs. One 
of the few species that is common both on the Atlantic and False Bay sides of 
the Cape Peninsula. Type locality is False Bay. 

Remarks 

The cuticular covering of the stalk provides a substratum for epizoic 
organisms such as encrusting white didemnid ascidians. 

Malacacanthus capensis is distinguished by the presence of siphonozooids, 
total lack of sclerites, and horny cuticle surrounding the stalk. Branch & Branch 
(1981: 152), illustrated this species and referred to it as the 'sun-burst soft coral'. 

Genus Minabea Utinomi, 1957 
Minabea Utinomi, 1957: 139. Utinomi & Imahara, 1976: 206. Bayer, 19816: 913. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies digitiform. Finger-like polyparium gradually tapers distally from a 
stalk that is short and thick. Apex of colony broadly rounded, not markedly 
pointed. Polyps dimorphic. Autozooids completely retractile into polyparium. 
Siphonozooids not densely distributed between autozooids. Sclerites are mostly 
capstans, with some spindles. 

At least three species from the Indo-Pacific: Japan, Australian Great 
Barrier Reef, and south-eastern Africa. 

Type species. Minabea ozakii Utinomi, 1957, by monotypy; Japan. 

Remarks 

Several colonies of two undetermined species of Minabea have recently 
been collected from Transkei and northern Natal (Zululand), 250-370 m in 
depth. The colonies are either pale brownish-orange in colour or white with 
pinkish retracted polyps. 

This account represents a new record for the genus to southern Africa and 
to the south-western Indo-Pacific. 



Genus Sarcophyton Lesson, 1834 
Sarcophyton Lesson, 1834: 517. Pratt, 1903: 505. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 106. Verseveldt, 1982: 5. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies mushroom-shaped to somewhat funnel-shaped or cup-shaped. A 
broad capitular disc arises from a distinct stalk. Surface of capitulum smooth, 
usually with open folds on the disc margin. Disc spreading and wider than distal 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 315 

portion of stalk. Polyps dimorphic. Autozooids numerous, often several hun- 
dred per mature colony; capable of total retraction into capitulum. Siphono- 
zooids minute, contained on surface of disc between autozooids. Sclerites often 
numerous and dense, usually tuberculated clubs and spindles. 

A large genus in warm tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific; mostly shallow 
water, often inhabiting coral reefs; about 36 valid species; see Verseveldt (1982) 
for a detailed revision of the genus and a key to the recognized species. 

Type species. Sarcophyton lobulatum Lesson, 1834, by monotypy; Indo- 
Pacific. 

Remarks 

Several presently unidentified species occur on the submerged platform 
coral reefs of northern Natal at Sodwana Bay and Kosi Bay, 12-27 m depth 
(Williams 1989a: 142; in press b), and representative material is present 
in the South African Museum collection. Tixier-Durivault (1960: 360) listed 
Sarcophyton trocheliophorum von Marenzeller, 1886, from Inhaca Island, 
southern Mozambique. 

Genus Sinularia May, 1898 

Sinularia May, 1898: 24. Luttschwager, 1915: 5. Kolonko, 1926: 293. Tixier-Durivault, 1945: 
56; 1951: 1; 1966: 164. Verseveldt, 1980: 4. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies low, flat, and encrusting or erect with a definite stalk. Polyp- 
bearing capitulum arises from an encrusting basal portion or a distinct stalk. 
Surface of capitulum relatively smooth to plicate, forming crests or ridges, or 
intricately lobate with many crowded upright finger-like lobes. Polyps mono- 
morphic. Sclerites of capitulum usually clubs with distinct heads and thorn clubs, 
0,06-1,5 mm long. Sclerites of stalk are generally large robust spindles, 
>2,0 mm in length. 

A large genus with about 105 species of the tropical Indo-Pacific. Common 
in warm and shallow waters of coral reef regions. See Verseveldt (1980) and 
Verseveldt & Benayahu (1983) for a revision of the genus with a key and 
descriptions for the recognized species. 

Type species. Sinularia brassica May, 1898, by monotypy; Indo-Pacific. 
Remarks 

Tixier-Durivault (1960: 360) recorded Sinularia polydactyla (Ehrenberg, 
1834), without description or figures, from Inhaca Island, southern Mozam- 
bique. Single specimens of two distinct species have been collected from 
Sodwana Bay, northern Natal (18 m depth) and are in the South African 
Museum collection. The two specimens are partial, freeze-dried, and somewhat 
damaged. Many presently unidentified colonies representing several species are 
also present in the South African Museum collection and occur on the coral 



316 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

reefs at Sodwana Bay and Kosi Bay, 12-27 m (Williams 1989a: 142; in press b). 
Some colonies from 12 m depth can attain a diameter of over 2 m. 

Genus Verseveldtia Williams, 19906 

Verseveldtia Williams, 19906: 22. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies unbranched, capitate. Stalk narrow, elongate. Polyps dimorphic. 
Anthocodiae capable of total retraction into capitulum. Permanent calyces 
absent. Coenenchymal sclerites are mainly double stars, barrels, eight-radiates, 
or tuberculate spheroids. 

A genus of two species, endemic to southern Africa. 

Type species. Verseveldtia trochiforme (Hickson, 1900), by subsequent desig- 
nation; South Africa. 

Verseveldtia trochiforme (Hickson, 1900) 

Figs 33, 34F-I 

Sarcophytum trochiforme Hickson, 1900: 77, pi. 3 (fig. C), pi. 6 (fig. C). ?Thomson, 1921: 168; 

1923: 48, 70. 
Anthomastus trochiformis Kukenthal, 1910: 6. Verseveldt, 1982: 10. 
Verseveldtia trochiforme Williams, 1990frj 22-28, text-figs 1-3, pi. 1, pi. 2 (figs a-e). 

Material 

SAM-H724, off Ncera River Mouth, eastern Cape Province (co-ordinates 
unknown), 91 m, 7 August 1901, 3 incomplete colonies, dredge, S.S. Pieter 
Fame survey, PF 13329. SAM-H742, same data as SAM-H724, 1 incomplete 
colony, PF 13329C. 

Description 

The partial colonies do not exceed 60 mm in length. Colonies are capitate, 
an enlarged capitulum arises from an elongate and narrow stalk. The largest 
specimen has a capitulum measuring 12 mm in width, whereas the stalk is 
2-3 mm in width. The capitulum is dome-shaped or elliptical with the polyps 
covering the entire surface. Polyps are dimorphic. The retracted anthocodiae of 
the autozooids may form small protuberances on the surface of the capitulum 
but these are not true calyces, since the protuberances are capable of complete 
retraction into the capitulum. Autozooids are small and numerous (50-100 in 
number and 0,9-1,2 mm in diameter). Siphonozooids crowded between the 
autozooids, 0,3-0,5 mm in diameter. Sclerites of the capitulum surface and 
interior, as well as the stalk sclerites are predominantly eight-radiates, 0,05- 
0,11 mm in length. A few girdled spindles (0,110-0,114 mm) may also be 
present in the capitulum. The autozooid anthocodiae possess flattened plates, 
0,04-0,07 mm in length, and girdled or tuberculate spindles, 0,10-0,17 mm in 
length. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



317 




Fig. 33. Verseveldtia trochiforme (Hickson, 1900). A. Entire mature colony, 65 mm 

in height. B. Young colony attached to a foraminiferan fragment, 9 mm in height. 

C. Sclerites from the anthocodial wall. D. Tentacular sclerites. E. Sclerites from the 

capitulum. F. Stalk sclerites. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



318 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Colonies are light grey or brownish-white to cream, retracted autozooids 
are rust orange, siphonozooids are grey or cream in coloration. 

Distribution 

Eastern Cape Province, the vicinity of East London, 82-97 m in depth 
(Williams 19906, in press a). 

Remarks 

Hickson (1900) assigned this species to the genus Sarcophyton (mis-spelled 
as Sarcophytum) . Kiikenthal (1910) recognized this as incorrect and placed the 
species in the genus Anthomastus . Verseveldt (1982) repeated Kukenthal's 
opinion and considered it an invalid species of Sarcophyton. Verseveldtia 
trochiforme does not have the sparsely spinose rods in the inner stalk that are 
characteristic of the genus Anthomastus . 

Thomson (1921: 168) identified eleven specimens from Natal (46-165 m in 
depth) as Sarcophytum trochiforme. He did not give descriptions or figures for 
the material, other than stating that most of the colonies are reddish in colour. 
Because of this, it is possible that at least some of the specimens may be 
Verseveldtia bucciniforme . Examination of Thomson's material is necessary to 
establish valid taxonomic status. 

Verseveldtia trochiforme is differentiated by a convex, dome-shaped polyp- 
bearing portion of the capitulum, coenenchymal sclerites that are primarily eight 
radiates, and colony colour greyish-white with rust-orange retracted autozooids 
and greyish-white siphonozooids. 

Verseveldtia bucciniforme Williams, 19906 

Figs 34A-E, 35 

? Anthomastus granulosus (non Kiikenthal, 1910) Thomson, 1921: 169. 

? Anthomastus trochiforme (Hickson, 1900) Thomson, 1921: 168. 

Verseveldtia bucciniforme Williams, 19906: 28-34, text-figs 3-5, pi. 2 (figs f-i), pi. 3. 

Material 

SAM-H3799, off Gonubie, eastern Cape Province (33°06,8'S 28°04,9'E), 
90 m, 17 July 1984, 3 colonies, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring 
Naude). SAM-H3800, off Mbotyi, Transkei (31°29,2'S 29°45,4'E), 50 m, 
21 July 1982, 1 colony, dredge, coll. Natal Museum (R.V. Meiring Naude). 
SAM-H3801, off East London (33°15,0'S 27°58,0'E), 85 m, 17 July 1984, 
1 colony, dredge, coll. G. C. Williams (R.V. Meiring Naude). 

Description 

Colonies examined range in length between 12 and 20 mm. Colonies are 
funnel-shaped, markedly capitate with a long, slender stalk. Polyps restricted to 
the somewhat flattened capitular disc at the distal terminus of colony. Polyps 
dimorphic. Autozooids capable of total retraction into capitulum, usually 10-20 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



319 




Fig. 34. Scanning electron micrographs. A-E. Verseveldtia bucciniforme Williams. 1990b. 
A-B. Sclerites from bases of polyps and surface of capitulum. A. 0,075 mm. B. 0,048 mm. 
C-E. Stalk sclerites. C. 0,058 mm. D. 0,08 mm. E. 0,08 mm. F-I. Verseveldtia trochiforme 
(Hickson, 1900). F. An eight-radiate from the capitular surface, 0,072 mm. G. Girdled spindle 
from the capitular surface, 0,114 mm. H. Sclerite from the interior of the capitulum, 
0,060 mm. I. Stalk sclerite, 0,064 mm. 



320 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

per colony, 1,5-2,0 mm in diameter when retracted. Siphonozooids crowded 
between autozooids, usually around 0,5 mm in diameter. The autozooids of all 
material examined have the anthocodiae totally retracted. Partly retracted 
autozooids may produce hemispherical protuberances on the surface of the 
capitulum but these are not true calyces since they too are capable of complete 
retraction into the capitulum. Sclerites of the capitular surface and interior, as 
well as the stalk are barrels, double stars and tuberculate spheroids, 0,06- 
0,08 mm in length. The anthocodiae contain rods and irregularly-shaped 
flattened platelets, 0,03-0,08 mm in length. Colonies orange, red or pink in 
colour with retracted autozooids and siphonozooids bright yellow. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to South Africa, known from the eastern Cape, 
Transkei, and Natal coasts between East London and Durban, 50-90 m in depth 
(Williams 1990b, in press a). Type locality is off East London, eastern Cape 
Province. 

Remarks 

Thomson (1921: 169) identified a specimen from 58 m off East London as 
Anthomastus granulosus Kiikenthal, 1910. From his brief and unillustrated 
description, it seems probable that the colony actually belongs to V. buc- 
ciniforme. Like the two species of Verseveldtia, A. granulosus (from Japan) does 
not have sparsely spinose rods in the inner stalk and capitulum that are 
characteristic of the genus Anthomastus. 

Verseveldtia bucciniforme is distinguished by a somewhat flattened or disc- 
shaped polyp-bearing portion of the capitulum, sclerites that are barrels, double 
stars, and tuberculate spheroids, and red colony colour with yellow siphono- 
zooids and retracted autozooids. 

Digitiform and capitate species of the families Alcyoniidae and Nidaliidae 

Approximately 18 species of southern African alcyoniids and nidaliids have 
digitiform or capitate growth forms. Many digitiform species have in the past been 
plagued with considerable confusion in the literature as to proper generic 
placement. Verseveldt & Bayer (1988) recently provided a much needed revision 
of four genera that contain digitiform species: Bellonella Gray, 1862, and Eleu- 
therobia Putter, 1900 (Alcyoniidae), and Nidalia Gray, 1835, and Nidaliopsis 
Kiikenthal, 1906 (Nidaliidae), and named two new genera, Inflatocalyx 
(Alcyoniidae) and Pieterfaurea (Nidaliidae). This re-assessment has shown that 
Metalcyonium Pfeffer, 1888, is not a valid genus because the type species 
M. capitatum Pfeffer, 1888, can be accommodated in Bellonella. All of the 
above-mentioned genera have polyps that retract into permanent calyces or at 
least into protuberances composed of palisade-like arrangements of sclerites. 
Some digitiform alcyoniids do not possess permanent calyces but rather the 
polyps retract directly into the polyparium or into basal protuberances that are 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



321 




Fig. 35. Verseveldtia bucciniforme Williams, 19906. A. Entire colony growing on a 

foraminiferan fragment, length of colony 13 mm. B. Entire colony. 17 mm in length. 

C. Sclerites from tentacles. D. Sclerites from polyps and capitulum. E. Stalk 

sclerites. C-E. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



322 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

capable of complete retraction into the polyparium. Williams (1986a: 61; 1988: 18) 
maintained that the genus Alcyonium should be considered a morphologically 
diverse assemblage of species and that certain digitiform or capitate forms with- 
out permanent calyces can be accommodated within it. The southern African 
Alcyonium moriferum and A. variabile and the Japanese A. muricatum Yamada, 
1950, and A. pacificum Yamada, 1950, are examples of such species. Eight of 
the digitiform or capitate southern African forms have been included in the pres- 
ent work: Alcyonium mutabiliforme , A. moriferum, A. planiceps, A. variabile, 
Acrophytum claviger, Eleutherobia studeri, Pieterfaurea unilobata and P. khoisa- 
niana. Of the ten or so remaining undetermined species or those with unverified 
identifications (many of which have recently been collected from the southern 
African coast), the following names have been recorded by previous authors. 

Bellonella rubra Brundin, 1896, was recorded by Thomson (1910: 554) 
(eastern Cape Province, Transkei, central Natal; 44-100 m). Utinomi (1957: 
149) questioned Thomson's identification of the South African material. Bello- 
nella rubra was originally known from the western Pacific. Tixier-Duri vault 
(1954: 127) placed the species in the genus Nidalia. More recently, Verseveldt & 
Bayer (1988: 37) transferred it to the genus Eleutherobia. The South African 
material possesses sclerites that resemble those figured by Brundin. However, 
the colonies do not have non-retractile calyces, which are characteristic of the 
genera Nidalia and Eleutherobia. In fact, the polyps are capable of totally 
withdrawing into the polyparium without forming protuberances or permanent 
calyces. Because of this, I presently consider this taxon to be an undetermined 
species of the genus Alcyonium. The colonies vary from pink-magenta to deep 
wine-red, both in life as well as in alcohol. 

Metalcyonium clavatum Pfeffer, 1889, was recorded by Thomson (1910: 
556) from central Natal, 66-73 m. Thomson considered this southern African 
material (SAM-H550) to be conspecific with M. clavatum from the Subantarctic 
island of South Georgia. This identification cannot be validated without a 
comparison of Pfeffer's type material, since the original description lacks 
sufficient detail. 

Thomson described three digitiform species with large sclerites: Met- 
alcyonium natalensis Thomson (1910: 559 — Durban, Natal, 71-73 m depth); 
Metalcyonium lanceatum Thomson (1921: 167 — eastern Cape Province, 40 m 
depth); and Sinularia unilobata Thomson (1921: 172 — East London to Durban, 
40-93 m depth). Metalcyonium natalensis was later considered by Thomson 
(1921: 170) to be conspecific with Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900. Sinularia 
unilobata is synonymous with Pieterfaurea unilobata. Metalcyonium lanceatum 
possesses finely tuberculated needle-like spindles in both the stalk and 
polyparium, whereas P. unilobata has large robust spindles with ornate 
tuberculation. 

The holotype of M. lanceatum (SAM-H793) has unfortunately been pre- 
viously dried and somewhat damaged, thereby making detailed redescription 
and comparison difficult. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 323 

Kukenthal (1906: 48) described Metalcyonium novarae from the Cape of 
Good Hope in a brief description, without any figures of the colony or sclerites. 
Many colonies recently collected from the Cape Agulhas region (24-54 m 
depth) show characteristics that conform to Kukenthal's description. However, 
a comparison of these specimens with Kukenthal's type material is necessary for 
a positive identification; the latter is at present not available for examination. 

Family Nidaliidae Gray, 1869 

Colonies unbranched (capitate or digitiform) or arborescent, with still and 
cylindrical branches. Texture of colonies rough and rigid. Polyps monomorphic 
or dimorphic. Anthocodiae retractile into permanent, spiculose calyces or 
'palisade-like' protuberances. Sclerites are primarily large, tuberculate spindles, 
mostly longitudinally aligned. 

Six genera of widespread distribution, but concentrated in the Indo-Pacific, 
West Indies, central Atlantic, and southern oceans. Two genera in southern 
Africa. 

Genus Pieterfaurea Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988 
Pieterfaurea Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 66. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies unbranched, digitiform. Polyps monomorphic. Anthocodia retrac- 
tile into a permanent conical calyx composed of a palisade-like arrangement of 
spindle-like sclerites. Sclerites of the colony are robust coarsely tuberculated 
spindles and clubbed spindles, densely distributed in the surface region of the 
stalk and polyparium. Similar sclerites are common in the colony interior. 

A genus of two species, endemic to southern Africa. 

Type species. Sinularia unilobata Thomson, 1921; South Africa. 

Pieterfaurea khoisaniana (Williams, 1988) comb. nov. 

Figs 1G, 36, 37A-D 

Alcyonium khoisanianum Williams, 1988: 7-14, figs 5-10, 14, 16A. 

Material 

SAM-H3411 (holotype), off Danger Point, Cape Province (34°43'4,94"S 
19°20'30,19"E), 48 m depth, 29 April 1984, 1 sectioned colony, SCUBA, coll. 
W. R. Liltved, Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Line Fish Survey. 

Description 

The holotype is 82 mm in length. Colonies are digitiform; a finger-like 
polyparium arises from a prominent stalk. Polyps are numerous, completely 
retractile, relatively large (up to 12 mm long and 3 mm wide), calyces absent. 
Sclerites of the anthocodiae are small rods up to 0,33 mm long, sparselv 



324 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

distributed in crown and points. Sclerites from surface region of polyparium and 
stalk are robust, densely tuberculated spindles or slightly club-shaped spindles, 
somewhat crowded but not exceedingly dense. Sclerites from the polyparium are 
0,5-1,4 mm in length, whereas those from the stalk are 0,4-1,9 mm long. Most 
elongate spindles from the stalk are widest in the middle and taper toward both 
ends. Only a few scattered spindles may be present below the surface sclerites of 
the polyparium and stalk, contained in between gastric cavities. These sclerites 
are totally absent from the central interior region. Colour in life is vivid purple 
or magenta with polyps whitish, tentacles bright yellow, and stalk whitish. 
Colours fade to uniform dull greyish-yellow in alcohol. 

Distribution 

This species is presently known from the Cape south coast, Danger Point to 
the eastern Cape Province, 30-50 m in depth (Williams 1988, in press a). Type 
locality is Danger Point. 

Remarks 

This species may be confused with smaller colonies of Acrophytum claviger 
that are 70 mm in length, in which siphonozooids are not apparent. Larger 
colonies of A. claviger show obvious dimorphism. Colonies of A. claviger have 
densely set clubs and slightly clubbed spindles in the surface layer of the polyp- 
arium and stalk, 0,17-0,35 mm in length. Pieterfaurea khoisaniana, on the 
other hand, has comparatively sparsely set spindles in the surface of 
the polyparium. Many of these are slightly club-shaped. In the surface region of 
the stalk are many robust spindles that are widest medially with ends that taper 
markedly. All spindles are densely and ornately tuberculated, and vary from 0,4 
to 1,9 mm in length. Anthocodial sclerites are absent in Acrophytum claviger 
but are present in Pieterfaurea khoisaniana. 

This species is here provisionally transferred to the genus Pieterfaurea 
because of the possession of large tuberculate spindles in the surface of the stalk 
and polyparium as well as in the bases of the polyps, even though 'palisade-like' 
arrangements are not distinct. 

Pieterfaurea unilobata (Thomson, 1921) 

Figs 37E-G, 38 

Sinularia (Sclerophytum) unilobata Thomson, 1921: 172, fig. 5. 
Bellonella unilobata Verseveldt, 1980: 11. 
Metalcyonium unilobatum Williams, 19866: 263, fig. 2B. 
Pieterfaurea unilobata Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 67, figs 62-64. 

Material 

SAM-H741 (paralectotype), off Umhloti River mouth, Natal (29°40'S 
31°10'E), 73 m, 18 December 1900, 1 colony, large dredge, S.S. Pieter Faure 
survey, PF 10880. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



325 




Fig. 36. Pieterfaurea khoisaniana (Williams, 1988). A. Entire colony (paratype), 

preserved, 90 mm total length. B. Single polyp showing arrangement of sclerites. 

total height of polyp 5 mm. C. Polyp sclerites. D. Sclerites from surface of 

polyparium. E. Stalk sclerites. C-E. Scale bar = 1,0 mm. 



326 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Description 

The colony examined is slightly damaged due to lengthy desiccation. The 
colony is 35 mm long and finger-like; a cylindrical polyparium arises from an 
upright stalk. Stalk length approximately 40-50 per cent of total colony length. 
Stalk and polyparium distinctly delineated. Anthocodiae retractile into perma- 
nent calyces. Anthocodial sclerites absent. Calyx sclerites are spindles 0,7- 
1,0 mm long. Surface of polyparium is densely spiculated with spindles or slightly 
clubbed spindles, mostly 0,4-1,0 mm in length. Surface of stalk with large 
robust spindles or slightly clubbed spindles 0,25-2,6 mm long. Similar large 
sclerites are common throughout the interior of the colony. Preserved colony 
colour brownish, sclerites white. 

Distribution 

The species is known only from the east coast of southern Africa, from East 
London (eastern Cape Province) to the Durban region (Natal), 40-93 m 
(Williams in press a). Type locality unspecified. 

Remarks 

Pieterfaurea unilobata is distinguished by the possession of conspicuous 
permanent conical protuberances formed by a palisade-like arrangement of large 
spindles; large tuberculate spindles- and clubbed spindles are present throughout 
the surface as well as in the interior of the colony; anthocodial sclerites are 
absent. 

The two species of Pieterfaurea can be differentiated as follows: P. khoi- 
saniana has sclerites in the anthocodiae that form well-defined crown and points, 
in which the sclerites may be sparsely or densely disposed; the maximum length 
of the coenenchymal sclerites is 1,9 mm; sclerites are more sparsely disposed in 
the surface of the stalk and polyparium giving the colonies a softer, more 
flexible appearance; and the bases of expanded polyps are sparsely spiculated 
with a 'palisade-like' arrangement not well defined; the maximum size of 
colonies is 130 mm long by 50 mm wide; the colonies are mostly stout with the 
stalk usually comprising half or less of the total colony length; the species is 
apparently restricted to the Cape south coast from Danger Point to the eastern 
Cape. Pieterfaurea unilobata, on the other hand, does not possess sclerites in the 
anthocodiae; the maximum length of coenenchymal sclerites is 2,6 mm; sclerites 
of the surface of the colony are very dense giving the colonies a relatively stiff 
and rough appearance; and the bases of expanded polyps have sclerites that are 
densely arranged in a 'palisade-like' fashion; the maximum size of colonies is 
50 mm long by 10 mm wide; the colonies are mostly narrow with the stalk 
usually comprising one-half or more of the total colony length; the species is 
apparently restricted to the South African east coast from East London to 
central Natal. 

The placement of the genus Pieterfaurea in the Nidaliidae is here considered 
nominal as it also shares characteristics with the family Alcyoniidae. The 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



327 




Fig. 37. Scanning electron micrographs. A-D. Pieterfaurea khoisaniana (Williams. 1988). 
A-B. Sclerites from the surface of the polyparium. A. 0,85 mm. B. Detail of surface 
tuberculation from a polyparium sclerite, total length of micrograph represents 0,24 mm. 
C-D. Sclerites from the surface of the stalk. C. 0,28 mm. D. 1,0 mm. E-G. Pieterfaurea 
unilobata (Thomson, 1921), sclerites from the surface of a colony. E. 1,0 mm. F. 0,70 mm. 

G. 0,24 mm. 



328 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

'palisade-like' arrangement of sclerites at the base of the polyps do not represent 
true calyces (Verseveldt & Bayer 1988: 47, 66). Alcyonium complanatum 
Verseveldt, 1977, and A. planiceps Williams, 1986a, also do not possess calyces 
but do have large multi-tuberculate spindles that are longitudinally placed in the 
outer surface giving the colony a rough appearance, a feature used to define the 
Nidaliidae (Verseveldt & Bayer 1988: 47). Even though Verseveldt & Bayer 
(1988) considered Pieterfaurea to be a genus of the Nidaliidae, they at the same 
time included it in the key to the genera of the family Alcyoniidae, and not in 
the key to the nidaliid genera. 

Genus Siphonogorgia Kolliker, 1874 
Siphonogorgia Kolliker, 1874: 18. Verseveldt & Bayer, 1988: 48. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies branched and arborescent. Slender branches arise from a well- 
defined stalk. Surface of colonies brittle and rough. Polyps arise from the ends 
of terminal branches but are not present on the main branches or on the stalk. 
Polyps armed with well-developed crown and points. Sclerites are mostly 
tuberculated spindles. 

A genus of perhaps twelve or more species from the Red Sea and Indo- 
Pacific. 

Type species. Siphonogorgia godeffroyi Kolliker, 1874; Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

A single undetermined species has been collected by dredge from northern 
Natal between 62 m and 142 m in depth. This account represents a new record 
of the genus for southern Africa. 



Family Nephtheidae Gray, 1862 

Colonies lobate or arborescent, upright, with a distinct stalk. Polyps 
monomorphic, arranged individually or in clusters or catkins, along surface of 
branches and/or at the tips of ultimate branches. Sclerites often dense, mainly of 
spindles, clubs, and radiates. 

A family of about 20 genera known world-wide; at least four genera repre- 
sented in southern Africa. 



Genus Capnella Gray, 1869 

Capnella Gray, 1869: 129. Utinomi, 1960: 28. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 233. Verseveldt, 1977: 

184. 
Eunephthya Verrill, 1869: 284. Utinomi, 1951: 28. 
Paranephthya Wright & Studer, 1889: 227. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



329 




Fig. 38. Pieterfaurea unilobata (Thompson, 1921). A. An entire colony, 35 mm in 

length. B. A single polyp showing palisade-like arrangement of sclerites to form a 

permanent calyx; diameter of base of calyx = 2 mm. C. Sclerites from the calyx and 

surface of polyparium. D. Sclerites from surface of stalk. C-D. Scale = 0,6 mm. 



330 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Diagnosis 

Colonies often arborescent, usually with multiply branched polyparium 
arising from a prominent stalk. Polyps in clusters, curved inward, without crown 
and points arranged en chevron. Sclerites scattered throughout polyps. Polyp 
sclerites include leaf-clubs and thorny spindles. Stalk sclerites include leaf-clubs 
and thorny spindles. Stalk sclerites are often irregular and compact radiate-like 
structures, frequently thorny. 

A genus of perhaps 19 species, primarily Indo-Pacific and extending into the 
south-eastern Atlantic (Cape of Good Hope Peninsula). 

Type species. Alcyonium imbricatum Quoy & Gaimard, 1833, by 
subsequent designation. 

Capnella susanae Williams, 1988 

Figs 39-40 
Capnella susanae Williams, 1988: 19-26, figs 14-15, 16B, 17-19. 

Material 

SAM-H3717 (holotype), Hottentots Huisie, Cape of Good Hope Penin- 
sula, South Africa (33°59'S 18°21'E), 15-18 m depth, 11 November 1984, 
1 whole colony, SCUBA, G. C. Williams. 

Description 

The holotype is arborescent and somewhat digitiform, not luxuriantly 
bushy, <50 mm total length. Stalk and polyparium strongly demarcated. 
Polyparium inconspicuously and sparsely branched. Lateral branches <6 mm 
long. Polyps sometimes solitary but often clustered into groups of 2-20 
(commonly 3-7). Polyps of these clusters joined proximally. Polyps elongate 
clavate, 2-3 mm in length, curved adaxially, non-retractile, but tentacles 
retractile into body of polyps. Polyparium sclerites are caterpillars, leaf clubs, 
and thorny spindles, <0,33 mm in length. Surface sclerites of stalk tuberculate 
spheroids of irregular shape, and capstan-like radiates, <0,15 mm in length. 
Radiates are densely set in gastric cavity walls of the colony interior, <0,12 mm 
in length. Colony colour pink in life, fading to dark grey or brown in alcohol. 

Distribution 

Known from the west coast of the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula to 
southern Transkei, between 15 and 70 m in depth (Williams 1988, in press a). 
Type locality is the west coast of the Cape Peninsula. 

Remarks 

Capnella susanae differs from other southern African nephtheids by 
digitiform growth habit, polyps 2-3 mm long distributed along finger-like 
polyparium, and sclerites <0,33 mm long. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



331 




Fig. 39. Capnella susanae Williams, 1988. Entire colony 25 mm in length. B. Group 

of three polyps; central polyp is 3 mm in length. C. Sclerites from polyp wall. 

D. Sclerites from surface of stalk. C-D. Scale bar = 0,2 mm. 



332 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 40. Scanning electron micrographs of Capnella susanae Williams, 1988. A-E. Sclerites 

from polyp bases. A. 0,15 mm. B. 0,125 mm. C. 0,035 mm. D. 0,20 mm. E. 0,14 mm. 

F-H. Sclerites from surface of stalk. F. 0,07 mm. G. 0,07-0,09 mm. H. Both 0,075 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 333 

Capnella thyrsoidea (Verrill, 1865) 

Figs 1H-I, 41-42 

Nephthya thyrsoidea Verrill, 1865: 1982. 
Nephthya rugosa Kiikenthal, 1902: 299. 
Capnella rugosa Kiikenthal, 1906: 68, pi. 3 (figs 12, 13), pi. 11 (figs 67-69). Thomson, 1910: 

575, pi. 2 (fig. 10), pi. 4 (figs 42a-c). Broch, 1939: 12, fig. 9. 
Capnella gilchristi Thomson, 1910: 578, pi. 2 (fig. 11), pi. 4 (figs 40a-c). 
Capnella- thyrsoidea Utinomi, 1960: 31. Verseveldt, 1977: 185. England & Robson, 1984: 313, 

figs 4C, 5C-D. 

Material 

SAM-H917, Mossel Bay, Cape Province (22°15'S 34°10'E), 38 m, 24 June 
1898, 2 colonies, shrimp trawl, coll. S.S. Pieter Faure survey, PF 88. SAM- 
H3385, off Danger Point, Cape Province (34°39'S 19°20'E), 39 m, 12 April 
1984, 2 colonies, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved, Sea Fisheries Research Institute, 
Line Fish Survey. SAM-H3415, Hottentots Huisie, Cape Peninsula (33°59'S 
18°21'E), 14 m, 22 March 1984, 4 colonies, SCUBA, coll. G. C. Williams. 

Description 

Colonies examined are 15-170 mm long. Colonies upright, bushy 
arborescent, with an intricately branched polyparium arising from a prominent 
stalk. Stalk often robust, up to 30 mm in diameter and 40 mm in length. 
Polyparium wider than stalk, exuberantly branched. Polyp clusters arising from 
sides and apexes of ultimate branches. Polyps extremely numerous, cylindrical 
or tear-shaped with distal portion sometimes slightly expanded; c. 1,0-2,0 mm 
in length. Sclerites of stalk are compact six-radiates (capstans), some 
approaching irregular spheroids with prominent tuberculation, 0,04-0,09 mm in 
length. Sclerites of the polyp clusters and calyces are elongate coarsely- 
tuberculate spindles, clubs and leaf-clubs, 0,12-1,2 mm long. Colour variable, 
brown to dark brown, light grey to smoke-grey, white to salmon to pinkish, or 
cream to yellowish. 

Distribution 

Apparently endemic to South Africa, west coast of the Cape of Good Hope 
Peninsula to the Durban region of Natal, 10-240 m in depth (Williams in press 
a). This species is one of the commonest octocorals in southern Africa, often 
seen by divers on vertical rock walls and reefs. It is probable that the 
distribution of this species extends into northern Natal (England & Robson 
1984: 315). Type locality South Africa, detailed locality unspecified. 

Remarks 

The appearance of colonies of C. thyrsoidea differs remarkably depending 
on degree of contraction or expansion. Underwater observation of the species 
off the west coast of the Cape Peninsula (12-20 m depth) during daylight hours 
in turbid water, has revealed that in feeding posture the colonies are greatly 



334 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 41. Capnella thyrsoidea (Verrill, 1865). A. Entire colony, partially contracted, 

135 mm in length. B. Detail from a group of five polyps; total length of figure 

2,5 mm. C. Entire colony, tightly contracted, 105 mm in length. D. Sclerites from 

polyp wall. Scale bar = 0,3 mm. E. Stalk sclerites. Scale bar = 0,1 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 335 

expanded and elongated, reaching up to 300 mm in length and 200 mm in width, 
very limp and flexible. The colonies have all branches elongated and exposed 
with the ultimate branches containing polyp clusters forming protuber- 
ances along the surface of the branches. During severe contraction, as in 
daylight hours in clear water or during preservation, the colonies are tightly 
compacted, stiff and rigid, resembling stalks of cauliflower, usually not more 
than 80 mm in total length. 

A recently described and unusual species of ptychodactiarian anemone, 
Preactis miliar dae England & Robson, 1984, representing a new anthozoan 
family (Preactiidae), has been shown to be a species-specific predator on 
C. thyrsoidea (England & Robson 1984: 313). The large anemone (up to 
200 mm in length) is relatively mobile, using the lateral vesicles and pedal disc 
to temporarily adhere to various substrata. Preactis miliar dae is at present 
known only from the south-western Cape Province, in less than 20 m of water. 
The anemone apparently engulfs and digests whole polyparies of C. thyrsoidea, 
often leaving only the basal portion of the stalk remaining. 

Macfadyen (1936: 51) recorded C. rugosa (a junior synonym of C. thyr- 
soidea) from the Australian Great Barrier Reef. This is probably a misidenti- 
fication; examination of Macfadyen 's material is necessary for verification. 
Verseveldt (1977) considered at least eight species of the genus Capnella to 
occur in Australia, C. thyrsoidea (= C. rugosa) not being one of them. 

Capnella thyrsoidea is distinguished from C. susanae by the presence of 
bushy arborescent form with intricately branched polyparium, polyps 1-2 mm 
long, and sclerites up to 1,2 mm long. 

Genus Dendronephthya Kukenthal, 1905 
Dendronephthya Kukenthal, 1905: 667. Utinomi, 1952: 161; 1954: 319. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies are bushy and arborescent with a prickly or bristly appearance. 
Colonial growth form is umbellate, glomerate or divaricate. Polyps arranged in 
groups. Each polyp has a conspicuous supporting bundle of sclerites that usually 
projects far above the polyp. Sclerites are primarily tuberculate spindles. 

A very large genus of over 250 described species, distributed in the Red Sea 
and the Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Nephthya savignyi Ehrenberg, 1834, by subsequent desig- 
nation; Red Sea, Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

At least four undetermined species of this genus occur in Natal between 
Durban and Kosi Bay, 12-50 m in depth (Williams 1989a: 142; in press). 

Tixier-Durivault & Prevorsek (1962: 70) described Dendronephthya muta- 
bilis as Morchellana mutabilis from the Durban region of Natal, at 64-91 m in 
depth. Verseveldt (1960: 511) described Dendronephthya inhacaensis from 



336 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 




Fig. 42. Scanning electron micrographs of Capnella thyrsoidea (Verrill, 1865). A-I. Sclerites 
from polyp bases. A. 0,29 mm. B. 0,17 mm. C. 0,28 mm. D. 0,24 mm. E. 0,09 mm. 
F. 0,25 mm. G. 0,40 mm. H. Detail of surface tuberculation from sclerite shown in F; total 
length of micrograph = 0,07 mm. I. 1,0 mm. J-L. Sclerites from surface of stalk. J. 0,10 mm. 

K. 0,09 mm. L. 0,10 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 337 

Inhaca Island, southern Mozambique; depth not recorded. The two species can 
be distinguished as follows: D. mutabilis has supporting bundles of one large 
projecting spindle whereas in D. inhacaensis the supporting bundles are 
composed of 3-5 large projecting spindles. 

Genus Litophyton Forskal, 1775 

Litophyton Forskal, 1775: 139. Bayer, 1956: 188; 19816: 913. 

Ammothea Savigny in Lamarck, 1816: 410. 

Litophytum Agassiz, 1848: 616. Kukenthal, 1903: 105. Shann, 1912: 511. Light, 1915: 1. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies arborescent, branches arise from a single erect stalk. Polyps 
clustered in lappets or catkins on the terminal branches only, not present in 
other portions of colony. Colonies repeatedly branch distally. Surface of stalk 
and branches smooth. Polyps non-retractile, without supporting bundles. 
Sclerites of various types, but leaf clubs are not present. 

Twenty or more species of the Indo-Pacific and the south coast of South 
Africa. 

Type species. Litophyton arboreum Forskal, 1775; Indo-Pacific. 

Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988 

Figs 43-45 
Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988: 321-327, figs 2B, E, 4-8. 

Material 

SAM-H3400, off Danger Point (34°38'S 19°20'E), 39 m depth, 12 April 
1984, 1 whole colony, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved, Sea Fisheries Research 
Institute, Line Fish Survey. SAM-H3863, off Cape Agulhas (34°52'S 20°05'E), 
54 m depth, 23 February 1985, 1 whole colony, SCUBA, coll. W. R. Liltved, 
Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Line Fish Survey. 

Description 

Colonies examined are 56-110 mm in height. From a common base several 
stems may arise, which repeatedly ramify distally. Colonies are cauliflower-like, 
with polyp-bearing regions of distal branchlets arising from a tall branching 
stalk, which is smooth and fleshy. Polyps are contained on the sides and apices 
of short lateral branches, as well as on the distal-most branchlets. The finely 
divided ultimate branchlets usually contain 3-12 polyps, giving the colony a 
luxuriantly bushy appearance. Ultimate branchlets are 3-8 mm long and 2- 
5 mm wide. Polyps are concentrated on distal portions of these branchlets. 
Tentacles are retractile into the body of the polyp. Polyps are tear-shaped 
(clavate) with global distal portions when contracted, or elongate-cylindrical 
when expanded, 1,5-3,0 mm long and 0,8-1,5 mm wide. Several ultimate 



338 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



branchlets were observed with young polyps budding laterally from near the 
bases of adjacent polyps. 

Sclerites are of three general types. The tentacles possess small irregular 
rod-like structures that may branch near the ends. These sclerites are 0,05- 
0,10 mm in length. Their arrangement in the tentacles was impossible to 
determine due to contraction. The polyp walls and branchlets contain spindles 
with fine but sparse tuberculation. These sclerites are 0,09-0,25 mm in length. 
Some of these may be slightly club-shaped. Those of the polyps are relatively 
robust spindles that may be somewhat curved with marginal protuberances more 




Fig. 43. Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988. A. An entire colony, 
110 mm in height. B-E. Four groups of polyps from terminuses of four separate 
ultimate branches. B. Group of four polyps with tentacles retracted into bodies of 
polyps, length 3,3 mm. C. Group of three polyps with tentacles retracted into bodies 
of polyps, 2,5 mm in length. D. Group of seven polyps; total length of figure 6 mm. 
E. Group of three polyps, total length of figure = 4,5 mm. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 339 

pronounced and numerous on the convex side. Sclerites of the ultimate branches 
are often slightly shorter than the polyp sclerites, usually <0,15 mm long. The 
surface region of the stalk contains stout and irregular modified capstans, 
0,05-0,13 mm long. 

Colony colour is pale cream-white, both in life and in alcohol. 

Distribution 

The species is known only from the south coast of South Africa — Danger 
Point, Cape Agulhas, and Cape St Francis; 30-54 m in depth (Verseveldt & 
Williams 1988; Williams in press a); apparently endemic to southern Africa. 
This species is locally common on vertical rock walls off Cape St Francis, with a 
relatively dense population (approximately 5-8 colonies/m 2 — W. R. Liltved 
pers. comm.). Type locality is Danger Point, south-western Cape Province. 

Remarks 

Litophyton liltvedi is distinguished from other southern African nephtheids 
by having polyps clustered in catkins at ends of terminal branches, and sclerites 
of spindles and double stars. 

Genus Nephthea Audouin, 1826 

Nephthea Audouin in Savigny, 1826: 230. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 271. 
Nephthya Ehrenberg, 1834: 284. Kukenthal, 1903: 141. Shann, 1912: 510. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies copiously branched. Polyps are contained in lappets, catkins or 
bundles on the many branchlets. Each polyp has a supporting bundle of usually 
slender and more-or-less similarly-sized tuberculated spindles. 

A large genus of the Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Nephthea chabrolii Audouin, 1826, by monotypy; Red Sea 
and Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

One unidentified species has recently been collected on the sublittoral coral 
reefs of northern Natal at 12-19 m in depth (Williams 1989a: 142; in press b). 
This account represents a new record of the genus to southern Africa. 

Other species of Nephtheidae 

Only five nephtheid species have been identified and recorded from south- 
ern Africa, these being Capnella thyrsoidea, C. susanae, Litophyton liltvedi, 
Dendronephthya inhacaensis, and D. mutabilis. 

Material from at least three other species not presently identified to genus 
or species, occur from Saldanha Bay, False Bay, the eastern Cape Province to 
Transkei, and Sodwana Bay. This material is held in the South African Museum 
marine invertebrate collection. 



340 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Family Xeniidae Ehrenberg, 1828 

Colonies membranous, lobate or capitate. Polyps monomorphic or 
dimorphic. All mesenterial filaments except the two asulcal ones are absent or 
rudimentary in mature polyps. Pinnules are in several rows on each side of 
tentacles. Sclerites are minute flattened oval rods or discs that are smooth, 
knobbly or granular and rough in appearance (<0,1 mm long), or are com- 
pletely absent. Many species possess symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) in the 
gastrodermal tissues of the tentacles. Colour of tentacles in life is often blue, 
green, brown, grey, or yellowish. 

Seven genera recognized world-wide, primarily in warm shallow seas of the 
Indo-West Pacific. 

Genus Anthelia Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816 

Anthelia Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816: 407. Roxas, 1933: 59. Gohar, 1940: 88. Utinomi, 1958: 98. 
Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 348. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies form membranous sheets from which individual polyps arise. 
Polyps not retractile. Sclerites, if present, are small ovoid or rod-like platelets 
<0,05 mm in diameter, often granular or rough in surface texture. 

Perhaps twenty or more species of the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific; littoral or 
shallow water. 

Type species. Anthelia glauca Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816; Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

Three species of Anthelia have been recorded from southern Africa 
(Table 1). In addition, Anthelia capensis Studer, 1879, was described from the 
Cape of Good Hope at 91 m in depth. Studer gave only a brief description and a 
very generalized figure that lacked sufficient detail to define diagnostic 
characters or even to assign to a genus with certainty. According to him the 
outer polyp wall is smooth and soft, without grooves or ribs. The cylindrical 
polyps are weakly thorny spindles 0,2 mm long, and are thus consistent with 
those of the genus Clavularia (Clavulariidae) but quite unlike sclerites of the 
family Xeniidae. The colony colour is described as vermilion red. Studer's 
material is presently not available for examination. 

Two presently undetermined species of Anthelia have recently been col- 
lected from Natal: a slate-grey species common on the sublittoral coral reefs of 
Sodwana Bay, 9-19 m in depth (Williams 1989a: 142; in press b); and a vivid 
blue species that is frequently encountered at Durban from the littoral to at least 
3 m in depth (see Fig. ID). 

Genus Cespitularia Valenciennes, in Milne Edwards & Haime, 1850 

Cespitularia Valenciennes, in Milne Edwards & Haime, 1850: lxxviii. Hickson, 1931: 162. 
Roxas, 1933: 103. Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 351. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



341 







Fig. 44. Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988. A. Sclerites from polyp 
walls and ultimate branches. B. Sclerites from tentacles. C. Stalk sclerites. Scale 

bar = 0,1 mm. 



342 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Diagnosis 

Colonies are lobed and digitate; several lobes or branches arise from a 
common stalk. Polyps arise from different levels of the polyparium on several 
lobes and are non-retractile. Sclerites if present are minute, usually smooth 
round to oval rods or discs. 

Perhaps ten or more species of the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacifk. 

Type species. Cornularia multipinnata Quoy & Gaimard, in Milne Edwards 
& Haime, 1850, by subsequent designation; Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

A single species of Cespitularia has been recorded from South Africa 
(Table 1), but no new material has been collected representing this genus. 

Genus Heteroxenia Kolliker, 1874 

Heteroxenia Kolliker, 1874: 12. Hickson, 1931: 168. Roxas, 1933: 95. Gohar, 1940: 101. Tixier- 
Durivault, 1966: 368. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies capitate; capitulum arises from an upright stalk. Polyps arise from 
a distinct terminal disc on the capitulum. Polyps dimorphic at least during 
breeding periods, non-retractile. 

Type species. Heteroxenia elisabethae Kolliker, 1874, by subsequent 
designation, Red Sea and Indo-Pacific. 

Remarks 

Four species of Heteroxenia have been recorded for southern Africa 
(Table 1), but no new material has been collected that is assignable to this 
genus. 

Genus Xenia Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816 

Xenia Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816: 409. Hickson, 1931: 148. Roxas, 1933: 76. Gohar, 1940: 93. 
Tixier-Durivault, 1966: 358. 

Diagnosis 

Colonies are lobed and capitate; several polyps arise from the top of upright 
stalks or lobes. There may be one or several lobes in a colony but they do not 
arise from a common stalk. Polyps always monomorphic, non-retractile. Scler- 
ites, if present, are mostly minute smooth rounded or irregular plates. 

A genus of perhaps 30 or more species from the Red Sea and Indo-Pacific. 

Type species. Xenia umbellata Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816; Red Sea, Indo- 
Pacific. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 



343 




Fig. 45. Scanning electron micrographs of Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988. 
A-E. Sclerites from the bases of the polyps. A. 0,235 mm. B. 0,26 mm. C. 0,208 mm. 
D. 0,19 mm. E. Detail of a single tubercle from a polyp sclerite; total length of micrograph = 
0,09 mm. F-I. Sclerites from the surface of the stalk. F. 0,74 mm. G. 0,09 mm. H. 0,07 mm. 

I. 0,052 mm. 



344 



ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 



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SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 345 

Remarks 

Four species of Xenia have been recorded from Natal (Table 1). Material 
representing one or more undetermined species of the genus has been collected 
from Durban (shore station), Umtwalumi (shore station), and off Kosi River 
mouth (47 m in depth). 

Other species of Xeniidae in southern Africa 

Twelve species representing four genera have been recorded from southern 
Africa. These are summarized in Table 1. 

The known distribution of the family Xeniidae in southern Africa is along 
the Indian Ocean coast from Port St Johns in Transkei to Inhaca Island, 
Mozambique; presence of the family is to be expected north of Inhaca. 

KEY TO THE SOFT CORALS AND STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 

1A. Colonies attached to substrata by basal stolons that are mainly ribbon-like 
or reticulate; or stolons form multi-layered platforms. Polyps separate, 
not grouped together by common swellings or globular polyparies 2 

IB. Colonies without true stolons. Colonies attached to substrata by a basal 
holdfast or membranous sheets; if base stolon-like then adjacent polyps 
grouped together by a common swollen or globular polyparium, or base 
spreading and membranous, not ribbon-like 10 

2A. Colonies arborescent. Anthocodiae not retractile into anthosteles 

Coelogorgia palmosa 

2B. Colonies not arborescent; polyps solitary or with secondary lateral polyps. 
Anthocodiae totally retractile into anthosteles 3 

3A. Walls of anthostele brittle and inflexible, composed of permanently fused 
sclerites, or a mosaic of tightly fitting, flattened plates 4 

3B. Walls of anthostele flexible, not brittle, composed of numerous free 
sclerites or clumps of partly fused sclerites 7 

4A. Colonies heavily calcified, with lateral connections of multi-layered 
stolons that form successive platforms. Colonies form rounded clumps. 
Colour wine-red Tubipora musica (Fig. 6) 

4B. Polyps arise from stolons which adhere directly to substrata in one layer, 
not forming multiple layers. Colour whitish, pinkish, or brownish 5 

5A. Anthosteles composed of separate flattened plates, tightly fitting together 

like a mosaic Scleranthelia thomsoni (Fig. 4) 

5B. Anthosteles composed of inseparably fused, tuberculated sclerites 6 

6A. Anthocodia with 8 points of sclerites arranged longitudinally. Base of 

gastric cavity open, not forming a calcareous lattice of 8 canals 

Bathytelesto tubuliporoides (Fig. 2) 

6B. Anthocodial sclerites not arranged in 8 points. Base of gastric cavity 
forming a calcareous lattice of 8 canals Scyphopodium ingolfi 



346 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

7A. Long axial polyps produce many lateral secondary polyps. Sclerites of 
polyp walls sometimes partly fused forming clumps Carijoa sp. 

7B. Polyps solitary or sometimes producing one lateral secondary polyp. 
Sclerites of polyp walls are free, not fusing to form clumps 8 

8A. Retracted polyps form low rounded or conical anthosteles, polyps may 
retract into stolons Sarcodictyon sp. 

8B. Retracted polyps form prominent cylindrical or tubular anthosteles 9 

9A. Polyps long and tubular (often >10 mm), sometimes with lateral 
secondary polyps. Proximal part of gastric cavity filled with mesogleal 
material Telestula sp. 

9B. Polyps cylindrical (usually <10 mm long), never with lateral secondary 
polyps. Proximal part of gastric cavities open Clavularia spp. 

10A. Polyps of one type (monomorphic) 19 

10B. Polyps of two distinct types (dimorphic) 11 

11A. Sclerites entirely absent or, if present, then of inconspicuous, flattened, 
ovate structures (usually <0,05 mm long), with smooth surfaces 12 

11B. Sclerites conspicuous, numerous and dense; of diverse form (>0,05 mm in 
length), with surface tuberculations 13 

12A. Tentacles with pinnules in several rows per side. Stalk without a rough 

horn-like cuticle. Sclerites present or absent. Polyps not retractile 

Heteroxenia spp. 

12B. Tentacles with pinnules in a single row per side. Stalk covered by a rough 

horn-like cuticle. Sclerites altogether absent. Polyps retractile 

Malacacanthus capensis (Fig. 32) 

13A. Colonies digitiform 14 

13B. Colonies distinctly capitate or with broad capitulums that are folded, 
lobed, or plicate 15 

14A. Sclerites are mostly clubs Acrophytum claviger (Fig. 7) 

14B. Sclerites are mostly capstans Minabea sp. 

15 A. Colonies clavate to capitate. Capitulums spheroid or funnel form without 
open folds on margins. Deeper water (>50 m depth) 16 

15B. Colonies with broad capitulums that are folded, lobed, or plicate. Shallow 
sublittoral (<30 m depth) of Natal and Mozambique 18 

16A. Colonies with sparsely spinose rods in the inner stalk and capitulum. . . . 

Anthomastus giganteus (Fig. 27) 

16B. Colonies without sparsely spinose rods in the inner stalk and capitulum 

17 

17 A. Colony colour red-orange with yellow retracted polyps. Coenenchymal 

sclerites are barrels and tuberculate spheroids 

Verseveldtia bucciniforme (Fig. 35) 

17B. Colony colour greyish-white with rust-orange retracted polyps. Coenen- 
chymal sclerites are eight radiates .... Verseveldtia trochiforme (Fig. 33) 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 347 

18A. Colonies fungiform or funnelform. Capitulum smooth or with open folds 
on margin Sarcophyton spp. 

18B. Colonies often low and encrusting or dish to bowl-shaped. Capitulum with 
closed folds or lobes or ridge-like plications Lobophytum spp. 

19A. Sclerites are absent, or are very sparse flattened rods (0,06-0,26 mm 
long); or if numerous, then are smooth, flattened ovate or rod-like forms 
(<0,05 mm long) *...... 20 

19B. Sclerites numerous, dense, and conspicuous (>0,10 mm long), usually 
with conspicuous surface tuberculation 23 

20A. Sclerites are rods (0,06-0,26 mm long) confined to the neck zones of 
polyps and sometimes forming rings surrounding the bases of polyps. 
Tentacles with a single row of pinnules per side. Colour orange or 
brownish Alcyonium mutabiliforme (Fig. 19) 

20B. Sclerites absent or reduced to minute smooth circular, oval, or rod-like 
bodies, usually <0,05 mm long. Tentacles with two or more rows of 
pinnules per side, often vivid blue, slate grey, or greenish. Littoral or 
shallow sublittoral of the Indian Ocean (family Xeniidae) 21 

21A. Colonies membranous and flattened, without a basal stalk 

Anthelia spp. (Fig. ID) 

21B. Colonies capitate or digitate, usually with a distinct stalk 22 

22A. Colonies capitate Xenia spp. 

22B. Colonies digitate . . . Cespitularia spp. 

23 A. Colonies branched repeatedly or multilobate (>10 ultimate lobes or 
branches) 24 

23B. Colonies membranous or creeping, capitate, digitiform, digitate, or few 
lobate (<10 ultimate lobes) 33 

24A. Surface of colony rough and stiff, due to large, narrow finely tuberculate 
spindles, densely packed and longitudinally placed. Polyps with conspicu- 
ous crown and points, retractile into calyces composed of elongate 
spindles Siphonogorgia sp. 

24B. Surface of colony usually smooth and soft, not packed with large, narrow 
longitudinally placed spindles; polyp calyces, if present, not composed of 
large, finely tuberculate spindles 25 

25 A. Entire polyp capable of complete retraction into polyparium, or antho- 
codiae retractile into base of polyp that is either sparsely set with sclerites 
or without sclerites altogether. Polyps arise singly from surface of lobes or 
ultimate branches, adjacent polyps not joined together proximally .... 26 

25B. Anthocodia retractile into a permanent calyx that is densely set with 
sclerites of variable form. Adjacent polyps clustered together, often 
forming a common base and joined proximally, polyp clusters distributed 
on sides and distal tips of branches (family Nephtheidae) 30 

26A. Sclerites are mostly spindles and/or clubs, 0,05-5,0 mm long 27 



348 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

26B. Sclerites are mostly small capstans, double stars, or tuberculate spheroids, 
0,03-0,15 mm long 28 

27 A. Polyparium with complex plications or with digitate lobes often long, thick 

and tapering distally. Polyps cover entire surface of lobes or plications, 

often preserved totally retracted. Sclerites are small clubs (0,06-0,2 mm 

long); and large, robust, coarsely tuberculated spindles (0,5-5,0 mm long) 

Sinularia spp. 

27B. Polyparium repeatedly ramifies distally. Polyps confined to ultimate 
branches in the distal-most portion of colony. Sclerites are spindles with 
sparse tuberculation (0,09-0,25 mm long), and irregularly shaped, modi- 
fied capstans (0,05-0,13 mm long) Litophyton liltvedi (Figs 43-44) 

28A. Sclerites are primarily double stars or double heads (0,03-0,08 mm long) 
Cladiella spp. 

28B. Sclerites are primarily capstans or tuberculate spheroids (0,03-0,15 mm 
long) 29 

29 A. Sclerites are capstans distributed throughout the surface region of the 

polyparium and stalk (0,03-0,065 mm long) 

Alcyonium valdiviae (Fig. 22) 

29B. Sclerites are primarily tuberculate spheroids restricted to the surface of 
the stalk (0,08-0,15 mm long) Alcyonium distinctum (Fig. 9) 

30A. Individual polyps each with a supporting bundle of spindles 31 

30B. Individual polyps without a supporting bundle of spindles 32 

31A. Supporting bundle of spindles conspicuously projects beyond the polyp. 

Colonies brightly coloured; white with red, orange, yellow, or maroon 

. Dendronephthya spp. 

31B. Supporting bundle of spindles does not project beyond each polyp. 

Colonies uniform cream-coloured Nephthea sp. 

32A. Sclerites of the polyps and branchlets are mostly leaf clubs and robust 
tuberculate spindles (0,12-1,2 mm long) . . Capnella thyrsoidea (Fig. 41) 

32B. Sclerites of the polyps and branchlets are mostly leaf clubs, caterpillars, 
and thorny spindles (0,12-0,33 mm long) .... Capnella susanae (Fig. 39) 

33A. Polyps relatively few (usually <20) restricted to distal and sometimes 
flattened terminal surface of colony 34 

33B. Polyps numerous (usually <20), dispersed over entire surface of a 
globular, lobate, or finger-like polyparium 35 

34A. Polyps with numerous red needle-like sclerites. Sclerites of polyparium 
and stalk are mostly capstans. Stalk without a cuticular envelope. Colony 
colour permanent Alcyonium elegans (Fig. 11) 

34B. Polyp sclerites absent. Colony sclerites are exclusively large, robust 
tuberculate spindles restricted to surface of stalk and sides of capitulum. 
Stalk covered with a thin cuticular envelope. Colony colour alcohol- 
soluble Alcyonium planiceps (Fig. 21) 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 349 

35A. Colonies digitate, polyparium of several slender finger-like processes aris- 
ing from a prominent basal stalk Eleutherobia rotifera (Fig. 29) 

35B. Colonies capitate, digitiform, lobate, globular, membranous or encrust- 
ing 36 

36A. Colonies digitiform or capitate 37 

36B. Colonies lobate, globular, membranous to encrusting 45 

37A. Colonies excluding polyps are digitiform (finger-like) 38 

37B. Colonies excluding polyps are capitate (fungiform) 43 

38A. Bases of retracted polyps often form globular swellings or conical to 

cylindrical calyces or palisade-like arrangements of spindle-like sclerites 

39 

38B. Polyps without calyces or palisade-like arrangements of spindle-like 
sclerites; entire polyp capable of complete retraction into polyparium . 42 

39A. Polyp bases form conical calyces by the palisade-like arrangement of large 
spindle-shaped sclerites (>0,3 mm long) 40 

39B. Polyp bases globular, low and hemispherical or tall and cylindrical to 
clavate. Calyx wall filled with small sclerites (<0,3 mm in length) .... 41 

40A. Palisade-like arrangement of sclerites in retracted polyps strongly devel- 
oped with sclerites erect and densely set. Anthocodial sclerites absent. 

Maximum length of coenenchymal sclerites is 2,6 mm 

Pieterfaurea unilobata (Fig. 38) 

40B. Palisade-like arrangement of sclerites in retracted polyps is weakly 

developed with sclerites sparsely or irregularly arranged. Anthocodial 

sclerites present. Maximum length of coenenchymal sclerites is 1,9 mm 

Pieterfaurea khoisaniana (Fig. 36) 

41A. Polyp bases low and globular, low and rounded. Adjacent polyps are 
solitary and arise directly from polyparium. Colony colour permanent 

Alcyonium moriferum (Fig. 18) 

41B. Calyces elongate cylindrical or slightly clavate. Adjacent polyps often 

clustered together with common bases. Colony colour alcohol-soluble 

Capnella susanae (Fig. 39) 

42A. Sclerites are exclusively tuberculated spheroids (<0,1 mm long) 

Alcyonium moriferum (Fig. 18) 

42B. Sclerites are predominantly clubs with spheroid heads and narrow pointed 
handles (<0,35 mm long) 

Acrophytum claviger (monomorphic colonies) (Fig. 7) 

43A. Fully retracted polyps from flexible and circular cup-like or disc-like 
calyces Eleutherobia studeri (Fig. 31) 

43B. Fully retracted polyps form low rounded, protuberances on the surface of 
the capitulum or are completely retractile into the capitulum; not forming 
cup-like calyces 44 



350 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

44 A. Some sclerites are tuberculate spheroids, double heads, or ovoid forms. 

Colony colour alcohol-soluble 

Alcyonium fauri (capitate form) (Figs 13-14) 

44B. Sclerites are clubs, capstans, spindles, and needles; no globular or ovoid 

forms. Colony colour permanent Alcyonium variabile (Fig. 24) 

45 A. Sclerites are entirely elongate, tuberculated clubs and spindles; no globu- 
lar, ovoid, or foliate forms or double heads present 

Alcyonium wilsoni (Fig. 26) 

45B. Sclerites diverse, but many are globular, ovoid, or distinctly foliate forms 
or double heads 46 

46 A. Many sclerites are distinctive foliate forms and double heads. Colonies 

usually encrusting soft substrata such as sponges 

Alcyonium foliatum (Fig. 16) 

46B. Some sclerites are globular or ovoid tuberculate forms or double heads, 
no foliates present. Colonial growth form variable: globular, lobate, or 
membranous; usually on hard substrata such as rock, shell, and dead or 
living corals Alcyonium fauri (Figs 13-14) 

LIST OF SOFT CORALS AND STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS 
RECORDED FROM SOUTHERN AFRICA 

Order Alcyonacea Lamouroux, 1816; amended by Bayer, 1981/?. 

Family Clavulariidae 

Subfamily Clavulariinae 

* Clavularia cylindrica Wright & Studer, 1889 

* Clavularia diademata Broch, 1939 

* Clavularia elongata Wright & Studer, 1889 

* Clavularia parva Tixier-Duri vault, 1964 
** Clavularia spp. 

° Bathytelesto tuhulip oroides Williams, 1989/? 
t Scyphopodium ingolfi (Madsen, 1944) 

Subfamily Sarcodictyoniinae 

** Sarcodictyon sp. 

° Scleranthelia thomsoni Williams, 1987a 

Subfamily Telestinae 

** Carijoa sp. 

* Telesto arborea Wright & Studer, 1889 
** Telestula sp. 

Family Tubiporidae 

° Tubipora musica Linnaeus, 1758 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 351 

Family Coelogorgiidae 

* Coelogorgia palmosa Milne Edwards & Haime, 1857 

Family Alcyoniidae 

° Acrophytum claviger Hickson, 1900 

° Alcyonium distinctum Williams, 1988 

° Alcyonium elegans (Kiikenthal, 1902) 

° Alcyonium fauri Thomson, 1910 

° Alcyonium foliatum Thomson, 1921 

** Alcyonium 'glomeratum' (Hassall, 1843) 

* Alcyonium membranaceum Kiikenthal, 1906 

° Alcyonium moriferum (Tixier-Durivault, 1954) 

° Alcyonium mutabiliforme Williams, 1988 

° Alcyonium planiceps Williams, 1986a 

* Alcyonium reptans Kiikenthal, 1906 

* Alcyonium roseum (Tixier-Durivault, 1954) 
** Alcyonium 'rubrum' (Brundin, 1896) 

** Alcyonium sarcophytoides Burchardt, 1903 

** Alcyonium sollasi Wright & Studer, 1889 

Alcyonium valdiviae Kiikenthal, 1906 

° Alcyonium variabile (Thomson, 1921) 

Alcyonium wilsoni Thomson, 1921 

° Anthomastus giganteus Tixier-Durivault, 1954 

* Anthomastus hicksoni Bock, 1938 

* Cladiella madagascarensis (Tixier-Durivault, 1944) 
** Cladiella sp. 

° Eleutherobia rotifera (Thomson, 1910) 

° Eleutherobia studeri (Thomson, 1910) 

* Lobophytum crassum von Marenzeller, 1886 

* Lobophytum crebiplicatum von Marenzeller, 1886 
** Lobophytum spp. 

° Malacacanthus capensis (Hickson, 1900) 

** 'Metalcyonium' 'clavatum Pfeffer, 1889 

t 'Metalcyonium' lanceatum Thomson, 1921 

* 'Metalcyonium' molle Burchardt, 1903 

* 'Metalcyonium' novarae Kiikenthal, 1906 
** Minabea sp. 

* Sarcophyton trocheliophorum von Marenzeller, 1886 
** Sarcophyton spp. 

* Sinularia polydactyla (Ehrenberg, 1834) 
** Sinularia spp. 

° Verseveldtia bucciniforme Williams, 1990/? 

Verseveldtia trochiforme (Hickson, 1900) 



352 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Family Nidaliidae 

° Pieterfaurea khoisaniana (Williams, 1988) 
° Pieterfaurea unilobata (Thomson, 1921) 
** Siphonogorgia sp. 

Family Nephtheidae 

° Capnella susanae Williams, 1988 
° Capnella thyrsoidea (Verrill, 1865) 

* Dendronephthya inhacaensis Verseveldt, 1960 

* Dendronephthya mutabilis (Tixier-Durivault & Prevorsek, 1962) 
** Dendronephthya spp. 

° Litophyton liltvedi Verseveldt & Williams, 1988 
** Nephthea sp. 

Family Xeniidae 

* Antheliaflava (May, 1899) 

* Anthelia glauca Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816 

* Anthelia profunda Tixier-Durivault, 1964 
** Anthelia spp. 

* Cespitularia coerulea May, 1899 

* Heteroxenia elisabethae Kolliker, 1874 

* Heteroxenia fuscescens (Ehrenberg, 1834) 

* Heteroxenia membranacea (Schenk, 1896) 

* Heteroxenia rigida (May, 1899) 

* Xenia dayi Tixier-Durivault, 1959 

* Xenia florida (Lesson, 1825) 
** Xenia spp. 

* Xenia umbellata Savigny, in Lamarck, 1816 

* Xenia viridis Schenk, 1896 

Incertae sedis 

* Anthelia capensis Studer, 1879 

* Literature record only; adequate material not available for study. 

** Species indeterminate; material available but status uncertain or unidentifiable at present. 

Described and illustrated in the present work. 

t Identified, but material is partial or damaged or otherwise not adequate for full description. 



SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION 

The present study represents the first comprehensive survey of the known 
soft coral and stoloniferous octocoral fauna for all of southern Africa. Of at least 
sixty species presently recorded in the literature, 26 species, 27 genera, and 
seven families are here considered to be valid. 



SOFT CORALS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA 353 

Several species remain indeterminate or of uncertain status due to one or 
more factors: (1) the lack of availability of type material for comparison with pre- 
viously described species, either because of lack of response or co-operation from 
a particular source, or not knowing the whereabouts of type material or even if a 
type specimen exists; (2) the lack of sufficient detail pertaining to the original 
descriptions of many species; (3) the lack of availability of certain literature 
references and problems such as delays or lack of co-operation from sources of 
inter-library loans; (4) the damaged or inadequate nature of available material 
pertaining to a given species, or (5) in some cases a large-scale revision of a given 
group may be necessary in order to accurately identify an individual species. 

The genera Sarcodictyon, Telestula, Carijoa, Minabea, Siphonogorgia, and 
Nephthea are here recorded from southern Africa for the first time. 

Approximately 90 species of soft corals and stoloniferous octocorals are 
presently estimated to occur in southern African coastal regions. This number is 
subject to change as future studies will undoubtedly reveal many unrecorded 
and undescribed species. Detailed examination of the fauna from the west coast 
Atlantic and east coast Indian Ocean regions is still necessary. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I am grateful to the late Dr J. Verseveldt of Zwolle, the Netherlands, for 
the identification of some material and for his comments regarding the status of 
the genera Acrophytum and Metalcyonium; Dr F. M. Bayer of the Smithsonian 
Institution for his ideas concerning the taxonomy of Malacacanthus and for his 
critical comments on the manuscript; Dr M. Grasshoff of the Senckenberg 
Institute, Frankfurt, for critically reading the manuscript; and Phil Alderslade of 
the Northern Territories Museum, Darwin, Australia, for his comments per- 
taining to the status of Alcyonium, Metalcyonium, and Acrophytum. 

I particularly thank W. R. Liltved of the South African Museum for his 
keen underwater observations and copious material; also Dr R. N. Kilburn, Dr 
D. Herbert, and Ruth Fregona of the Natal Museum, Susan Burke, Philip 
Coetzee, Alan Connell, Dr T. M. Gosliner, the Sea Fisheries Research Institute 
Dive Survey Unit (particularly Andrew Penney, Rob Tarr, and Paul Williams), 
and the crew of the R.V. Meiring Naude (particularly Captain George Foulis) 
for help in the collection of material. 

Dane Gerneke and Klaus Schultes of the University of Cape Town Electron 
Microscopy Unit provided assistance in the preparation of scanning electron 
micrographs. Liz Hoenson, Michelle van der Merwe, and Sheryl Ozinsky 
provided curatorial assistance and prepared photographic prints. Marcelle 
Scheiner and Sandra Saven typed the manuscript. Figure 42C was prepared by 
Virgilio Branco (South African Museum). 

I thank Prof. G. M. Branch and Dr J. A. Day of the Department of 
Zoology, University of Cape Town, for reading the manuscript and for their 
helpful comments. 



354 ANNALS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN MUSEUM 

Field work for this paper was funded in part by the Foundation for 
Research Development and the South African Museum. SANCOR and FRD 
provided partial funding for SEM work through a grant to Prof G. M. Branch. 



REFERENCES 

Agassiz, L. 1848. Nomenclatoris Zoologici Index Universalis. Soloduri, Sumtibus et typis jent 

et Gassmann. 
Alderslade, P. 1985. Redescription of Acrophytum claviger (Coelenterata: Octocorallia). 

The Beagle 2 (1): 105-113. 
Audouin, V. 1826. Explication sommaire des planches de polypes de VEgypte et de la Syrie, 

publiees par Jules-Cesar Savigny dans: Description de VEgypte 23. Paris. 
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6. SYSTEMATIC papers must conform to the International code of zoological nomenclature (particu- 
larly Articles 22 and 51). 

Names of new taxa, combinations, synonyms, etc., when used for the first time, must be followed 
by the appropriate Latin (not English) abbreviation, e.g. gen. nov., sp. nov., comb, nov., syn. nov., 
etc. 

An author's name when cited must follow the name of the taxon without intervening punctuation 
and not be abbreviated; if the year is added, a comma must separate author's name and year. The 
author's name (and date, if cited) must be placed in parentheses if a species or subspecies is trans- 
ferred from its original genus. The name of a subsequent user of a scientific name must be separated 
from the scientific name by a colon. 

Synonymy arrangement should be according to chronology of names, i.e. all published scientific 
names by which the species previously has been designated are listed in chronological order, with all 
references to that name following in chronological order, e.g.: 

Family Nuculanidae 

Nuculana (Lembulus) bicuspidata (Gould. 1845) 

Figs 14- 15 A 
Nucula (Leda) bicuspidata Gould. 1845: 37. 
Leda plicifera A. Adams. 1856: 50. 

Laeda bicuspidata Hanley. 1859: 118, pi. 228 (fig. 73). Sowerby. 1871: pi. 2 (fig. 8a-b). 
Nucula largillierti Philippi. 1861: 87. 
Leda bicuspidata: Nickles, 1950: 163, fig. 301; 1955: 110. Barnard. 1964: 234, figs 8-9. 

Note punctuation in the above example: 

comma separates author"s name and year 

semicolon separates more than one reference by the same author 

full stop separates references by different authors 

figures of plates are enclosed in parentheses to distinguish them from text-figures 

dash, not comma, separates consecutive numbers. 

Synonymy arrangement according to chronology of bibliographic references, whereby the year is 
placed in front of each entry, and the synonym repeated in full for each entry, is not acceptable. 

In describing new species, one specimen must be designated as the holotype; other specimens 
mentioned in the original description are to be designated paratypes; additional material not regarded 
as paratypes should be listed separately. The complete data (registration number, depository, descrip- 
tion of specimen, locality, collector, date) of the holotype and paratypes must be recorded, e.g.: 

Holotype 

SAM-A13535 in the South African Museum. Cape Town. Adult female from mid-tide region. King"s Beach. Port Eliza- 
beth (33°51'S 25°39'E), collected by A. Smith, 15 January 1973. 

Note standard form of writing South African Museum registration numbers and date. 

7. SPECIAL HOUSE RULES 
Capital initial letters 

(a) The Figures, Maps and Tables of the paper when referred to in the text 

e.g. '. . . the Figure depicting C. namacolus ...':'... in C. namacolus (Fig. 10) . . .' 

(b) The prefixes of prefixed surnames in all languages, when used in the text, if not preceded by 
initials or full names 

e.g. Du Toit but A. L. du Toit; Von Huene but F. von Huene 

(c) Scientific names, but not their vernacular derivatives 
e.g.Therocephalia, but therocephalian 

Punctuation should be loose, omitting all not strictly necessary 

Reference to the author should preferably be expressed in the third person 

Roman numerals should be converted to arabic. except when forming part of the title of a book or 

article, such as 

'Revision of the Crustacea. Part VIII. The Amphipoda.' 
Specific name must not stand alone, but be preceded by the generic name or its abbreviation to initial 

capital letter, provided the same generic name is used consecutively. The generic name should 

not be abbreviated at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph. 
Name of new genus or species is not to be included in the title; it should be included in the abstract, 

counter to Recommendation 23 of the Code, to meet the requirements of Biological Abstracts. 



GARY C. WILLIAMS 

THE ALCYONACEA OF SOUTHERN AFRICA. 
STOLONIFEROUS OCTOCORALS AND 

SOFT CORALS 
(COELENTERATA, ANTHOZOA) 



SHUSHST. MAYR LIBRARY 




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